Southgate Community Schools Implements an Energy Management Program with ABM Building Solutions

Thursday, June 7, 2012

ABM’s Bundled Energy Solutions Program will generate over $2.7 million in asset modernization without additional taxpayer burden

ABM (NYSE:ABM), a leading provider of integrated facility solutions, announced its ABM Building Solutions business unit is partnering with Southgate Community Schools to take a proactive approach to implement district-wide facility improvements funded through an energy management program. Once fully implemented, the program will improve the overall learning environment for the students, faculty, and community. The improvement project, which began in April 2012, is entirely self-funded; therefore it has no additional tax burden on the community or future borrowing capacity of the district. Southgate Community Schools are expected to achieve significant energy and operational savings from the measures and systems implemented within their schools, generating over $2.7 million in asset modernization.

“ABM Building Solutions is proud to partner with Southgate Community Schools to not only make a difference in their district, but the community and city as well,” said Bill Vaillancourt, General Manager of ABM Building Solutions – Detroit. “Improvements will be made to each school within the district to ensure they are all operating at optimal conditions, saving tax dollars, and providing highly efficient learning environments.”

The project will be implemented in three phases, with an estimated final completion date of February 2013. The first phase, scheduled to be complete by September to coincide with the new school year, will provide upgrades to eleven schools and buildings in the district: Allen Elementary School, Anderson High School, Chormann Elementary School, Davidson Middle School, Fordline Elementary School, Gersich Middle School, Grogan Elementary School, North Pointe Elementary, Shelters Elementary School, Asher Adult Education, and a maintenance and transportation building. The wide-range of upgrades will include new high efficiency boilers, high efficiency lighting, weather stripping and caulking the windows and doors, new demand controlled ventilation and retro-commissioning the HVAC systems.

“As a deficit school district, we look for the best ways to stay financially viable while trying to address the continuous needs of our district,” explained Dan Phillips, Director of Business and Finance for Southgate Community Schools. “Some of the needs that had not received adequate attention were those of energy savings and capital outlay pertaining to district lighting, doors, windows, roofing, and most notably, HVAC. When ABM introduced the project to the district last fall, it seemed like an obvious yes for all of us. After speaking with other school districts that have utilized the services of ABM Building Solutions in the past, we began the process. We were all pleasantly surprised at the level of upgrades we could receive with a guaranteed savings from the reduction of our energy consumption.”

Key highlights of the project include providing solutions to eliminate the persistent water leakage at Davidson Middle School and Gersich Middle School. The windows inside the media center at Davidson Middle School will be reglazed to resist water leakage resulting from infiltrating rain water. At Gersich Middle School, a ground water management system will be installed around the perimeter foundation base of the digitorium to prevent rain water seepage in the sunken portion of the seating area. Due to ABM Building Solutions’ ongoing effort to foster the local economy, they will utilize Jabro Carpet One, a local supporter of Southgate Community Schools, for the digitorium carpet replacement.

During the second and third phase, ABM Building Solutions will install a district wide, web-based HVAC control system that will give the district better control of building temperature and time schedules. Aiding the district’s management of the amount of energy used, the control system will also allow the district to detect arising equipment problems and notify appropriate staff. Several lighting upgrades will also be made; most notably, the lighting in the gymnasiums will be upgraded to high-efficiency, low maintenance T5HO fixtures, lamps, and ballasts. In addition, a three year energy and operational assurance program will be utilized to ensure Southgate Community Schools are achieving optimal savings.

"ABM's focus is on building value for our clients by reducing owning and operating costs while increasing the efficiency of their facility," said President of ABM Building & Energy Solutions, Scott Giacobbe. "We developed a strategic plan to help the school district become more financially and operationally sustainable by minimizing life cycle costs and maximizing the life cycle of their assets. Additionally, Southgate Community Schools’ improved learning environment will aid in fostering student success."

ABM (NYSE:ABM) is a leading provider of integrated facility solutions. Thousands of commercial, industrial, government and retail clients outsource non-core functions to ABM for consistent quality service that meets their specialized facility needs. In addition to building solutions, ABM’s capabilities include commercial cleaning, maintenance and repair, HVAC, electrical, landscaping, parking and security, through stand-alone or integrated solutions. With revenues exceeding $4 billion and nearly 100,000 employees ABM delivers custom facility solutions across multiple industries. ABM Industries Incorporated, which operates through its subsidiaries, was founded in 1909. For more information, visit

ABM Building Solutions (union) and ABM Building Services (non-union) are operating units of ABM focused on optimizing buildings by providing cost effective energy-efficient solutions as well as mechanical service to educational institutions, municipalities, commercial office buildings, hospitals, data centers, and industrial facilities. Service and solution offerings include building design, equipment retrofits and replacements, commissioning and re-commissioning, proactive and preventive maintenance, controls, energy audits, measurement and verification, and energy management. Located in most major metropolitan cities across the U.S., ABM Building Solutions and ABM Building Services are premier providers of comprehensive sustainability and green solutions designed to help clients attain LEED and ENERGY STAR certification, lower energy usage and utility bills, and reduce carbon emissions.

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