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The Challenge:

The first two Oak Creek - Franklin Joint School District elementary schools, Edgewood and Meadowview, were built in 1956 and the additions done in 1962 - 1963 were the last major work done in either building.  The District hired John Farina as Manager of Building and Grounds in 1998 to address the aging environment of the school buildings. He developed a long-range capitol improvement plan, and considering their age, quickly determined that Edgewood and Meadowview elementary schools were in need of immediate attention.

The pneumatic systems were failing, regardless of the care and diligence of the seasoned maintenance staff, while the air conditioning units and boilers were inefficient at best, and extremely labor intensive to operate and maintain. To make matters worse, increasing energy costs were straining an already tight budget.

“The equipment usefulness was definitely gone, everything was failing, and the custodians were running out of Band-Aids,” recalls Farina. “What we struggled with was how to upgrade the building infrastructure without disrupting school operation. Money was also an issue, since the district operates under a funding cap based on the total number of students.”

Farina’s long-range plan envisioned renovating and upgrading the district’s school buildings using a consistent state-of-the-art direct digital control (DDC) system and energy efficient physical plant equipment, starting with the pre-1960 facilities.  “Back in the mid-1980’s I saw a Robertshaw (Invensys) DDC system demonstration by Industrial Controls and was impressed with the system’s flexible menus and user-friendliness,” says Farina. “I never forgot that!”

The crucial factors for the Edgewood and Meadowview elementary school projects were threefold, according to Farina. “The project cost was certainly a major consideration. We also wanted the DDC system to be user-friendly enough for the existing maintenance staff to learn quickly and work with comfortably. And, the entire project had to be completed in a mere ten weeks – the summer months between school years.”


The Solution:

Besides high efficiency boilers and roof-top air conditioning units, Farina and the district ultimately selected the Invensys DDC system, designed, engineered, and commissioned by Industrial Controls for Edgewood Elementary. Edgewood Elementary was the first pre-1960 school building renovated over the summer of 2000.

Based on the success experienced at Edgewood, Meadowview Elementary was upgraded in the summer of 2001. Industrial Controls again designed, engineered, and commissioned the DDC system of choice, a Tridium/Vykon software platform with Invensys Lon controllers.  “We had a tremendous amount of work to accomplish in a 10-week period, and with the exception of a 1-day delay at Edgewood*, we were up and running for school,” says Farina. “The engineering work on the Invensys system from Industrial Controls was thorough and it was clear that they understood the products and the applications. It was nice to work with folks who knew what they were doing.”

“The custodians at Edgewood and Meadowview are very pleased with the Invensys system,” adds Farina. “Even though they hadn’t had much previous experience with computers, they thought it was a good thing to do. We all like it – so far the system has been very reliable with very few problems.”

“The really good news is that the district has realized energy and labor savings at Edgewood and

Meadowview as a result of the more efficient boilers and tighter control via DDC,” concludes Farina.

“It was such a good overall experience working with Industrial Controls that we bought another system (Tridium/Vykon software platform) and will shortly be doing the high school.”

*On June 28, 2000, Edgewood Elementary school experienced extensive fire and smoke damage as a result of 4 youthful vandals, which wiped out a major percentage of the work completed to date.

Edgewood Elementary

Edgewood Elementary

Meadowview Elementary

Meadowview Elementary

Oak Creek High School

Oak Creek High School

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