Imitation is the Sincerest form of Flattery!!! Report by Robert A. Williams

About once a month I spend about 15 minutes or so going through the front sections of about a month’s worth of Shelby Star issues. It doesn’t take much time since the front section is so thin and most of the stories are about somewhere else outside Cleveland County. Even the Letters to the Editor seem to be from Inman, Spartanburg and Greer, when they have Letters to the Editor at all. I don’t bother reading the out of town stuff. Or the “fake news” editorials from the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. Associated Press, etc.

But, a front page-above the fold article on the November 30, 2018 edition caught my eye. The article was titled “Saving cool cash” subtitled “Cleveland Community College adds unique HVAC Technology.” I read the article and smelled a rat.

The Star article, with pictures even, was clearly, to me, a CCC press release in response to an article I had published on November 25,2018 about scandals at CCC. Continuing and new. Based on what was presented at the November 13, 2018 Cleveland Community College Board of Trustee meeting and my personal research.

In the Star article great fanfare was given to saving a claimed $60,000 on energy costs. A savings of only $50,000 was reported at the CCC Board of Trustee meeting. The Star article stated CCC was going to add a “unique HVAC Technology” to their HVAC program. My appraisal of the CCC HVAC curriculum at was that it is 20-30 years out of date and I suggested improvements.

My first impression of the Star article and CCC Press Releases was, “there they go again.”
My second impression was the old saying that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” That I should be proud of the fact that the CCC BoTs used the Star to falsely brag about themselves as a cover-up for the factual article that I had published just a few days before.
I do NOT recommend going back to read the Star Article of November 30, 2018. I do recommend you go back and read my article published November 25, 2018 for the full story of the November 13, 2018 CCC BoT meeting. But, if you are pressed for time, I have included the pertinent part of the HVAC assessment from my article that is shown below for your convenience. Make your own judgement on who is feeding you phony baloney.

From My November 25, 2018 article.

Trouble Number 2. An Energy Management Project that saved $50,000 in electrical and gas bills last year.
A Utility Cost Savings Report was presented at the November 13, 2018 Bot Meeting which stated a grant funded an energy management program which saved $50,000 last year; with more to come as other areas such as lighting modifications, insulation and input to the architect for the new Advanced Manufacturing Building would be included.

So, what is the problem with saving $50,000? Nothing, except for these few things.

• The cost savings were allowed by spending for HVAC and HVAC control modifications that would be paid back in 6 years. At $50,000 per year that represents $300,000 in spending.

• Cleveland Community College has an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) program.

• There is a nationwide, perhaps world-wide, program called LEED (LEED Certification – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in the HVAC industry that is totally involved with energy savings and energy management in facility design, construction, operations and maintenance.

• A search of CCC educational program curriculum for HVAC does NOT include LEED. Anywhere that I could find.

• Recent HVAC Specifications for the new Health Department building as well as the new North Shelby School Project were issued by the same Architect as the CCC BoTs have already selected, with obvious conflicts of interest, for the Advanced Manufacturing facility, without up to date LEED design considerations as well as actually specifying “obsolete” high energy consumption chillers that used a refrigerant that is banned in the United States. The only thing that saved the Health Department and the New North Shelby School from having this obsolete equipment installed is the fact that, under US Law, the chillers that use the banned refrigerant are also banned from being manufactured in the USA. What this means to me is that CCC is about 20-30 years behind in their HVAC curriculum. And their selected architect is also 20-30 years behind in updating their mechanical specifications. (And CCC seems to be that much behind in other Workforce Development programs too.) In their ignorance is bliss” MO, the CCC BoTs continue to select architects who specify energy wasting building designs and energy wasting equipment. As does Cleveland County government. I smell a rat there too.

My suggestion is for CCC to get themselves up to date with their HVAC curriculum (to include LEED), and use their own old facility updates and new facility designs as hands on training for their HVAC students as well as CCC maintenance personnel training. Then apply this to all county owned facilities. It could be easily shown that such an approach would save up to a $Million per year and allow the utilization of existing facilities as educational tools (examples) in the CCC HVAC curriculum.

Engineers on the CCC Board of Trustees; Bill Turpish, Craig DeBrew and Robert Queen should recognize the problems here and push for real and long-term solutions for the betterment of CCC educational programs instead of spending grant money to pay outside groups to do what CCC itself is not teaching, but should be.

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