Fauquierians / Virginians
Bad decisions by School Board since 2008 - New projects thru 2023 for Students, Science Teachers, Parents, TAXPAYERS

Lost and refound in Fauquier VA ...

WE MUST move forward in a more positive manner for those folks who depend on OUR County, Marshall, Warrenton, The Plains, Bealeton, Catlett, Delaplane, Hume, Churches, Homes, and employment, etc. in Fauquier, Virginia-


FCPS4 #5of5 outlines 3 school board members doing the opposite for years, plus Executive staff at Hospital Hill FCPS4 #1of5

Before new projects needed in FCPS by 2023 should be approved, we need to understand more about local history, since 2006.

In 2007, BOS Member Center District Terry Nyhous recommended volunteers look at energy as a potential source of saving up to $4M in County Budgets.

Perfect timing as the Financial Crisis hit a year later (2008).

A 100-hour free research project (still available for review / comment) found that the $4M per year in Electric Utility Expenses was split 80% FCPS (20 school complexes) and 20% FCG (Fauquier County Gov. in 32 buildings). However, FCPS Facilities staff, after a 2-hour meeting, questioned the competance of the presenters. They felt threatened as it was obvious they were NOT concerned about rising energy costs to taxpayers.

FCG Director Tom Boyer understood the data. He approved 500 hours of detailed analysis in 5 separate 100-hour projects over 3 years at a cost of $12,500. RESULTS produced savings over 3 calendar years of $220K (+ve ROI). Dr. Lewis also understood the need for change.

3 key executives who resisted change and energy conservation have all since left FCPS.

ALL 52 complex occupants / HR received instructions on SAVING energy

Costs had been increasing annually for 5 years (2004-2008) peaking at $3.2M

Actual ENERGY cost saving details are available on our other web sites (4) hosted by SiteWhirks since 2004

FCPS went into defensive mode (part of their entrenched culture) but started to do their jobs by cutting utility costs to a low of $2.6M a few years ago (NO equipment changes). NO credit has ever been given for the extensive volunteer support helping staff except a letter of recommendation from Dr. Lewis, School Superintendent, for being an "Advocate for internal FCPS Change." There is nothing on FCPS1.org that highlights these good works in the public interest from 2008 to 2014 (teamwork ignored).

The recommendation to allow more online "work from elsewhere" was also ignored. Closing schools part-time would have saved $1M per year starting in 2008. SB Member Suzanne S. has her own company which specializes in students not being in school buildings. SB CONFLICT of interest?

Lobbying with Executive Staff, School Support Council, PTOs, (Science) Teachers, BOS and School Board (Sheryl W. was the lead supporter) etc. led to the approval of renewable energy and other eco-friendly features in the new wing at FHS in 2010 (built 2011-2013)

A volunteer EXPO in 2014 opened FHS for public tours (led by Honor Roll Students) to see the geothermal equipment, water saving features, open windows, natural lighting (skylights over library) etc. ALL of which reinvigorated FHS to now be more popular with students than KRHS or Liberty

Competition is HEALTHY. and has been a part of our (continuous) volunteer recommendations to FCPS for 10+ years

FHS new wing is one of the few good news stories of the FCPS CIP (Capital Improvement Process) despite cost overuns during construction (2011-13)

FCPS Energy Conservation History - Good and the very BAD

2007 - 2010

  1. 40+ trailers removed saving $75K / year in energy costs. Trailers were added when student population was growing before Auburn MS, KRHS and Greenville ES were built
  2. Approval for FHS renovation, new eco-wing
  3. Invoices keyed into Excel to track FCPS monthly energy expenses
  4. 10-year plan to save 95% of yearly FCPS lighting, cooling and heating costs by FY20 ignored by School Board and Executive staff with 10-year ROI. Opportunities for improved quality daily learning environments for students, science teachers adding to STEM-based curriculae for future jobs and new careers in Renewable Technologies.

2011 - 2015

  1. FHS renovation (mostly) completed with much improved facilities and many eco-friendly features
  2. FHS FCPS EXPO in 2014 - Previously noted above
  3. Annual savings in energy conservation resulted in $400K - $500K savings per year benefitting Budget surpluses at each fiscal year end

2016 - 2020

School Board finally realized that FCPS schools could benefit from serious Energy Conservation efforts. However, instead of asking for general RFPs so that innovation and new ideas could be sought by (local) entities, they focused on an integrated effort with funding over 15 years. ABM is billing FCPS $10-$12M for solutions using the "low hanging fruit" for energy related equipment changes in our public schools with NO renewable energy technology?

Savings of $900K were guaranteed in Phase 1 of their project before the end of this fiscal year (6/30/20).

  • Results have not been published - Most of the work has been completed (FOIA request needed?)
  • Status reports should have been distributed on projects / results on a least a quarterly, preferably monthly, basis 
  • Total projects recomended by ABM (2019) total $40M ($28M currently unfunded)
  • Out of Fauquier / State ABM contractors used so minimal local impact on jobs, taxes, etc. Example: Auburn MS roof painted white by contractors from Atlanta GA who spent 3 weeks and 2 weekends in local hotels (YEA - a LOCAL benefit). Paint purchased at Home Depot
  • ABM contractors parked in bus lanes while schools in session causing confusion for parents / teachers / students. Ex: Pearson
  • ABM parked 6 storage sheds at FHS (NO notice given) taking parking away from bus drivers, students and Transportation Training facilities in 2019 - spring to fall
  • ABM did NOT use ANY renewable energy technologies that could have put Fauquier on the National Map. ABM just replaced equipment and painted roofs white (hurts heating costs in winter)

NON-ABM related

  • Liberty HS / Brumfield roofs replaced without considering solar (High Schools are the 3 largest FCPS energy users)
  • South Eastern has 3 separate entities cutting the grass in summer months. Parks department manages? Plant trees?
  • Student Safety / Transportation issues loading / unloading buses at Coleman, LHS, CLMS, Pearson, TMS and Warrenton MS
  • NO renewable energy projects since 2013 at FHS or FCPS
  • In the summer of 2019 an FCPS Energy Conservation Project saved over $25K in 70 days at a cost below $5K (5:1 ROI). FCPS is NOT acting in an effective Fiduciary manner as required by Virginia Statutes, by ignoring an additional cost saving potential of about $20K / month or $240K / year  www.EnergySaver.Today 


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