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Hall school district OKs gym lighting study
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Hall County school officials are moving ahead with a study to determine the economic feasibility of replacing the lighting at all of the district’s gymnasiums with energy-efficient alternatives.

The school board went along with a recommendation by the Facilities and Construction Department in approving a  bid of almost $85,000 by Georgia Power to undertake the study.

Before voting at their Monday night meeting,  board members asked Facilities Director Matt Cox to explain the criteria used in choosing Georgia Power over Siemens, which submitted a low bid of $73,500.

Cox said a committee formed by the facilities and maintenance department looked at both proposals. He said that in scoring the bids, the committee gave more weight to qualifications (45 points) and work methodology (40 points) than to cost (10 points).

“Both were solid proposals,” Cox told board members. “Georgia Power gave us the most clear and precise bid for this. ... The experience area gave Georgia Power the edge.”

The issue of inefficient lighting at school gymnasiums surfaced last summer. At the time, Hall Superintendent Will Schofield said that by changing to LED lights, the district could save $80,000 to $100,000 annually.

Cox told school board members last year that Georgia Power had already done an initial study showing that turning to LED lights is “something that would save us money.”

Board Chairman Nath Morris wanted to make it clear that the board’s commitment went no further than the proposed study.

“If I remember correctly, this would be an RFP … to see what the economic feasibility of switching out those lights would be?” Morris asked.

Cox reassured board members that information would be brought back to them once the study is completed.

“If we get the same kind of results, or similar results that we got from a preliminary study, then we would move forward with the with the installation or replacement to have new lights in all our gyms,” Cox said.