Case Study: Rural Texas School District Upgrades Facilities

The Nueces Canyon Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) in Barksdale, Texas, completed more than $1 million in facility upgrades to improve building operations and comfort, while enabling the district to better control utility costs.


The Nueces Canyon Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) in Barksdale, Texas, completed more than $1 million in facility upgrades to improve building operations and comfort, while enabling the district to better control utility costs.

Among the problems faced by Nueces Canyon CISD was an old, complicated heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system that was causing maintenance issues. The central system served the two main buildings, and any malfunctions affected at least one entire building, often resulting in comfort problems for an entire school or the need to move classes. Because the district is in a rural community more than two hours west of San Antonio, it was difficult to get contractors to come out to perform service, and parts for the aging system were hard to obtain. Meanwhile, the district’s utility costs continued to rise. Other problems included poor lighting, disruptive noise from the mechanical systems and poor air quality.

Nueces Canyon CISD will save nearly $16,000 in utility costs and the district qualified to receive a rebate of more than $11,000 from AEP Texas, a unit of American Electric Power, the local electric utility company.

The facility improvements include a complete HVAC system upgrade to improve comfort and create a system the district could self-maintain. The antiquated water source heat pump system was replaced with individual HVAC units that have programmable thermostats. In some areas, to improve comfort, a single, shared unit was replaced with individual units for each room.

To reduce noise, the unit cooling the auditorium stage was moved, supply ducts in the ceiling of the band hall were placed and new air ducts in both gyms were installed to improved air flow. a ductless HVAC unit in the district’s server room was upgraded to keep it cool without running the larger units when the building was unoccupied. Finally, HVAC coils were cleaned, units were brought up to code for introduction of outside air, and total power capacity was upgraded for the school buildings.

“The improvements have made a big difference for our district,” said Russ Perry, superintendent, Nueces Canyon CISDNueces Canyon CISD. “By reducing noise in many areas, the HVAC can be run during games, performances, etc. making these events more enjoyable. Behind the scenes, the upgraded power supply ensures the district can meet future electricity needs and because we can self-maintain the HVAC, we will not struggle with service issues anymore.”

TAC completed the enhancements at the district’s two schools. To learn more about TAC, click here

Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
How to use IPD; 2017 Commissioning Giants; CFDs and harmonic mitigation; Eight steps to determine plumbing system requirements
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me