In Session - Fall 2017

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In Session LaBella Associates |

Fall 2017


Energy Performance Contracting Allows Your Capital Improvements to Pay For Themselves For decades, LaBella has helped our K-12 clients improve their end-use energy efficiency and reduce annual utility expenditures. Our firm offers a specialized energy discipline that can provide a variety of energy solutions for districts. The notion of undertaking an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) can be an intimidating and time consuming proposition, but these projects can offer much-needed capital improvements and budget relief. How? Simply put, an Energy Performance Contract project pays for itself. The energy savings amortize the capital cost of the project. EPC projects are eligible for state aid, can be funded without issuing a bond, and are not subject to voter approval or competitive bidding. By including a 3rd party professional organization such as LaBella in the early stages of a project, you’re ensuring the process is as valuable as possible. LaBella’s services include identification and review of Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs), RFP assistance, RFI responses, bid evaluation, interview assistance, and of course engineering design services and SED approval process. All of these services can be done at no up-front cost to the District, as our fees are paid by the EPC contractor. Contact us today to learn more.

The Modern Library, continued from page 7 Along this line, many librarians discussed the increasing importance of classes, programs, and collaborative meeting spaces within their libraries. A 2016 contest sponsored by the Knight Foundation challenged libraries to implement innovative ideas to better serve their communities. The North Onondaga Public Library in Cicero, NY was selected as one of the winners with their Library Farm concept. Much like a traditional library promotes literacy, the Library Farm promotes food literacy, allowing users to experience gardening firsthand as well as learn from local experts about food and farm culture. Similarly, the Ivan Green Primary School library in the East Irondequoit Central School District implemented their own butterfly and herb garden so students can experience life sciences firsthand. Future So— with so many options, what does the future of libraries entail? Whether they provide physical or electronic books, offer a quiet space away from the classroom, or the ability to print 3D models is up to the community the library serves. But, a few key takeaways remain. In reality, it all stays true to Andrew Carnegie’s original vision— make knowledge and education accessible to all. To accomplish this, designers, librarians, and educators should plan libraries to remain open and flexible, featuring fewer built-in items and more movable furniture with plenty of power and data connectivity. One prime example of a

successful implementation of these design elements is the library at Laurelton Pardee Intermediate School in East Irondequoit, NY. Here, LaBella worked with library staff to create a space that aligned with students’ visions. Stationary book stacks were removed or relocated to create a more open, flexible floor plan. At the same time, a variety of fullymobile tables, chairs, lounge pieces, technology, and storage were purchased to allow for a variety of learning environments to coexist within one space. Because of this, students are now able to use the library to grab a book and settle in a comfortable corner for individual study, meet at a collaborative station where they can connect their personal devices into a shared screen, group tables together to complete a handson project, and so much more. Most importantly, the new library design allows students to take control of the space and how it functions. Justin Hoenke of Benson Memorial Library (Titusville, PA) summarizes the endeavor best: “The library of the future is a library that listens closely to the needs of its individual community and responds to those needs first and foremost.” Planning the library in this way will ensure that it’s successful throughout future changes and trends. And while the new model feels futuristic and pioneering, it is part of the library’s evolution that is as old as history itself. In Andrew Carnegie’s words— over 100 years ago— “A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.”