The Horry County Schools Board of Education will vote on awarding building contracts for five new schools at a special meeting tonight.
This should have already occurred, but bureaucratic interference slowed the process down since the board voted October 12, 2015 to begin negotiations for all five projects with First Floor Energy Positive, the top rated construction team from an earlier selection process.
Thompson Turner Construction and M.B. Kahn are second and third rated teams, respectively and were again included in the process in the past two weeks when bureaucracy took over.
The Horry County Schools board expressed an interest in building energy positive schools when the Request for Proposals for these five projects was reissued earlier this year.
First Floor Energy Positive is the only one of the three finalist teams to have already constructed energy positive schools. In fact, it is the only team in the United States to have designed, constructed and operated energy positive schools.
Sandy Grove Middle School in North Carolina was the first energy positive school built by First Floor Energy Positive. It generated 42% more energy than it consumed in its first year of operation. The excess energy was sold to the local power grid.
The other two North Carolina schools in operation have produced similar savings.
Based on the experience of the three schools in North Carolina, it can be projected that Horry County Schools and taxpayers can save $100 million in utility costs over the 40-year lifespan of these five schools.
These are not hollow projections. First Floor Energy Positive is the only one of the three finalist teams who can guarantee, via performance bond, that their school buildings will generate more energy on-site than they will consume.