Home Optimal energy Juvenile prison explores how to pay for renovations | Winchester Star

Juvenile prison explores how to pay for renovations | Winchester Star


WINCHESTER — Inaugurated in 1997, the regional prison for minors needs a new roof, an HVAC system and energy and lighting upgrades.

At their bi-annual meeting on Thursday, members of the prison service heard a speech from a national company on overseeing improvements. Founded in 1909 in San Francisco, ABM Building Services has annual revenue of $5 billion and 100,000 employees, according to its website. The company’s offices include locations in Alexandria and Richmond, and ABM has managed projects in Virginia involving prisons, municipal buildings and schools.

“We’re a big company, but we’re very local,” Frank LeBlanc, account executive at ABM’s Alexandria office, told members of the authority. “We guarantee energy savings based on the renovations we carry out for the entire building.”

On October 13, ABM conducted a free appraisal of the 32-bed prison located at 145 Fort Collier Road in Frederick County, officially known as the Northwestern Regional Juvenile Detention Center. It serves Winchester as well as Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties and is currently home to nine miners. The assessment included examining the HVAC system, lights and roof. ABM estimated annual savings of approximately $14,000 ($10,600 electrical, $3,400 operating). The prison’s annual energy costs are approximately $40,000.

If the company’s promised savings have not been met at the end of a 15-year contract, ABM regional manager Whitley Blake said he would pay the jail the unsaved amount. However, Blake said ABM projects have generally exceeded energy savings estimates. ABM would also negotiate optimal energy rates with the utility company.

Blake estimated that replacing the prison’s 40,000 square foot roof would cost around $200,000. He recommended that the new roof be fitted with solar panels installed by the prison’s utility company, which would be responsible for installation and maintenance. Other suggestions included replacing all fluorescent lights with LED lights, better insulation, computerizing many building functions, and better water conservation. Some of the improvements could be paid for with federal stimulus funds, according to ABM infrastructure financing specialist Christina Sheriff.

If prison officials agree to a letter of intent with ABM, the sheriff said the company would conduct a three-month ‘investment grade audit’ to provide a more detailed analysis of savings from building improvements. .

“What we showed you today is superficial,” she told members of Authority. “What we want to address in our full audit is really getting a full assessment of the financial impact and the technical impact that we can have with you.”

Shenandoah Authority member Evan Vass said a local business could do a similar assessment and charge a one-time fee. He said it could save the prison more money and expressed concern about a 15-year contract.

“After 15 years you have to be married to them,” said Vass, who is the Shenandoah County administrator. “Sometimes you need a divorce.”

Mary Blowe, representing Winchester, and Robert T. Williamson, representing Frederick County, agreed. “I’ve been through this many times in my career and I still don’t see the savings,” said Blowe, assistant city manager for Winchester.

“They’re going to profit from everything we do here,” said Williamson, a former Frederick County sheriff. “If we can do the same and take advantage of it and keep it all, it’s better in our pockets than in theirs.”

Superintendent Erin K. Maloney said she invited ABM to make the proposal because the company had a good reputation. Maloney, who has worked at the prison since it opened and was named superintendent in 2013, said the opportunity to complete a major renovation project with no upfront cost was attractive. She said staff had been proactive in maintaining the buildings, but a long-term construction plan was needed.

“Five, 10, 15 years later, it would be great to have a clean, clear document to hand over to the next superintendent to say, ‘Here’s what we’ve done and this is what needs to be done in the future. said Maloney, who has worked at the jail since it opened and was named superintendent in 2013. “We don’t have that right now.

In other business, Maloney has proposed a $3.2 million budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year that begins July 1. The proposed budget is approximately $59,000 less than the current budget. The authority should meet in April or May to approve the new budget.