There is always someone who works behind the scenes. Those that clean and scrub floors, mow and maintain grounds, repair equipment and much more. One such employee in Quinlan Independent School District is the QISD Facilities Supervisor/Energy Manager, Chris Lay.
Chris is a 1991 graduate of Ford High School. He gained experience in the HVAC industry from vocational training in high school and studied Refrigeration Technology from Eastfield College. He worked his way through several careers before landing back home in Quinlan, Texas. "I have enjoyed working in the school environment. I like the structure and using my skills to service school facilities. That is what led me to accept a position with the school district," said Lay.
He is a member of the Texas Energy Managers Association (TEMA), which is dedicated to energy management and program design in publicly funded institutions. “This group trains people like myself to find ways to save taxpayer money. We network and share strategies on energy efficiency and programs in our facilities," he said. He is an Accredited Texas Energy Manager through the State Energy Conservation Office. Some of the accomplishments attributed to his position are efficient lighting, energy management control system upgrades, and replacement of older outdated HVAC systems. Because of these projects, QISD has received over $10,000 in energy rebates from electric providers.
Mr. Lay has a wide range of duties. He collaborates with teachers and administrators on various issues in their buildings, works with contractors overseeing construction and repairs, and forecasts expenses and projects for the district.
Each day, he will check with the district's central computerized systems to see what is operating or what has broken, located at Ford High School. Many times this allows him to identify, address and repair something before building occupants ever know there is an issue.
"I monitor the refrigeration systems and these machines call out when a problem exists. I have had to quickly move food to another location to prevent spoiling to prevent lost dollars in the food department. This system saves the district many dollars through its detection process," he said.
"It is challenging to balance the need for building comfort with the task of saving energy in the classrooms. Next to salaries, utilities are a school's second highest operating cost. Lighting and HVAC represent approximately 70% of that expense. I feel my role as an Energy Manager is to help offset costs directly affecting the bottom line, and that allows more money to go into educating our kids," he said.
Chris Lay, Quinlan ISD would like to thank you for helping to conserve energy in many ways for the district. We appreciate you.