Ann Arbor Schools to See $63M in AC, Lighting Upgrades

Last week, the Ann Arbor School Board in Ann Arbor, Mich., approved $63 million in funding for air conditioning and lighting renovations at 13 schools in the district, as well as contracts for future architectural and engineering projects.

Included in that figure are air conditioning and LED lighting updates at Burns Park and Angell Elementary Schools ($3.3 million), Community High School ($8.99 million), Scarlett Middle School ($893,000), and Tappan Middle School ($20.65 million). The renovations are scheduled for the summer 2021 and summer 2022, and each bid total includes a 10% contingency fee.

The school board also approved architectural and engineering service contracts with Stantec of Farmington Hills and Fishbeck of Novi. These two firms are tasked with designing renovations for other projects set to begin during summer 2022 and summer 2023. The lighting and AC projects were marked as early priorities when Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) campaigned for the $1 billion capital bond that voters approved in 2019.

Estimated construction costs of $15 million for Stantec and $14 million for Fishbeck (of which each firm will receive a 4% professional fee) were approved for the following projects: Air conditioning, LED lighting, and fire suppression at Clague Middle School and Forsythe Middle School; air conditioning and LED lighting at Bach Elementary School, Eberwhite Elementary School, Pittsfield Elementary School, and Wines Elementary School; and LED lighting upgrades at Pioneer High School and Allen Elementary School.

During February, the board had previously approved about $15 million of these funds for projects at five of the schools. The ultimate goal is to help the district save money on energy costs and reduce its carbon footprint.

“When you bring in air conditioning, obviously it’s using more energy, bringing up the carbon footprint and general fund expenditures,” said AAPS executive director for capital projects Emile Lauzzana. “We’re offsetting the additional load or cost of electricity by implementing LED lighting and solar power.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].