820 Main St.
Longmont, CO 80501
Overcoming Financial Barriers:
One of the main barriers for school districts are financial restrictions. These restrictions are even greater for charter schools. As public schools, charters are not allowed to charge tuition, and they are funded according to enrollment. In some states, such as Colorado, they receive less than 100% of the funds allocated to their traditional counterparts for the operation of public schools. To make matters worse, St. Vrain School District was faced with the most tragic financial news in its history in 2002.
Twin Peaks Charter Academy (TPCA), located in the historic Longmont High School building. TPCA is a 66,000 square foot school constructed in 1925 and is host to approximately 432 students and 15 staff. The academy provides education for kindergarten through 8th grade. It is one of 93 charter schools in the state of Colorado.
St. Vrain Valley Schools partnered with PCD Engineering Services, Inc., an ENERGY STAR Partner, to provide the indoor environment assessment of TCPA. PCD Engineering Services is a firm focused on the client and the environment, providing integrated building system solutions, and is the leading service provider for ENERGY STAR in Colorado. To finance the cost of the ENERGY STAR certification at TCPA, PCD Engineering Services, Inc. offered a combination of pro-bono engineering services and also helped secure a grant from the US Government.
Twin Peaks Charter Academy does not have the most energy-efficient systems by today's standards. However, it does have a digital control system and benefits from a highly effective, district-wide, energy management program. These factors combined to earn TCPA the ENERGY STAR building label.
Heating hot water for the school is supplied by standard-efficient, modular boilers serving baseboard radiators. Cooling is provided by refrigerant-based, direct-expansion, cooling units. Ventilation is provided by a combination of operable windows and 100% outdoor-air capable roof-top units. Lighting systems are a mix of standard and energy-efficient T-12 lamps with magnetic ballasts. All mechanical systems are controlled and monitored by a state-of-the-art digital control system.
Recent HVAC system upgrades include replacing the cafeteria roof-top HVAC units with new, higher efficient units and replacing the makeup air unit serving the kitchen for improved ventilation.
The high-mass construction contributes to the energy-efficiency of the building, allowing for reduced air conditioning requirements. The staff is very conscientious about energy conservation, and teachers and students have been trained about its benefits.
- US EPA, May 2003 Pollution Prevention Newsletter, P2 Programs of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics at the U.S. EPA. http://www.epa.gov/p2
- US EPA award presentation to St. Vrain Board of Education, June, 2003 Board Meeting
- Announcement at monthly meeting of the Colorado Association of School District Energy Managers
"Colorado is leading the nation with the most school districts earning ENERGY STAR honors and PCD Engineering is championing the effort. To our knowledge Twin Peaks Charter Academy is one of only three charter schools receiving the ENERGY STAR label. This school is a testament that a building with operable windows does not necessarily contribute to excessive energy use and that you don't need the most efficient HVAC and lighting systems to have an energy-efficient building. The receipt of the award is largely attributable to the outstanding energy management program implemented by the district." -- Peter D'Antonio, President, PCD Engineering Services, Inc.
Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by St. Vrain Valley School District or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.
PCD Engineering Services, Inc.
St. Vrain Valley School District
Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
Facility Type: K-12 School
Total Floorspace: 71788 sf
Year Constructed: 1926
Contract Type: Internal Resources
Financing Type: Internal Capital
|Stage 3-Load Reductions|
|Stage 5-Heating and Cooling Plant|