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Includes: HVAC, locker repair, plumbing, and sheet metal.

Frank Maes, Manager (19 years with Department, 10 years as manager)
36 technicians and support personnel

Craft Shops include HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning); Sheet Metal (duct work, exhaust vents, venting hot water heaters, installing ceiling grills, installing air conditioning units, and locker repair); and Plumbing (domestic water, gas, and sewer maintenance).

Student learning comes to an abrupt halt at a school when the heating system fails in the winter or the entire campus is underwater due to a main water line break. But as a result of the tenacious attention to the District’s HVAC and plumbing systems, neither event has caused a school closure in 18 years.

The Mechanical Department is responsible for providing all students, faculty, and staff with a clean, safe, and comfortable environment. This necessitates incessantly staying abreast of the systems and hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment that provide a comfortable and suitable learning environment. To ensure that all heating and cooling systems are operating at top efficiency, the HVAC Shop performs regularly scheduled preventative maintenance work that safeguards systems from inferior performance or breaking down. The Department’s all-encompassing preventative maintenance program confirms that systems are inspected monthly, quarterly, or annually (as dictated by use). In addition, safety inspections are conducted monthly on all fire protection sprinkler, kitchen hood fire suppressant, and boiler systems. And the Plumbing Shop ensures that the District’s sanitary drinking water systems are unrestricted and free of impurities. They are also performing preventative maintenance work on sanitary sewers monthly to prevent sewer backups. APS students need never worry about an inadequate environment compromising their education! Students are the District’s most important resource and M&O’s most important customer.


Installed Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems (VRF)

VRF systems are energy efficient; provide dual heating and cooling while saving energy, maintenance, and utility costs; and as no boiler is required, eliminates the carbon footprint. The HVAC Shop installed VRF systems in the following schools during the 2011-12 fiscal year:

  • Georgia O’Keefe Elementary School
  • Los Ranchos Elementary School
  • Alvarado Elementary School
  • Valley High School
  • Rio Grande High School

Installed low maintenance Direct Digital Controls (DDC)

The low voltage electronics on heating and cooling systems are individually operated remotely via the Intranet. DDC requires no PM inspections on control system as the computer rather than a technician monitors and trouble shoots. Receiving DDC in 2011-12:

  • Y Hall at West Mesa High School
  • Coronado Elementary School (entire campus except cooling in main building)
  • City Center Conference Center

All PM work now scheduled and tracked in PM Direct

The Mechanical Department no longer manually schedules any PM work therefore eliminating any possibility of inspections inadvertently being overlooked.

Expanded PM work to include inspection and maintenance of chillers

While the District’s chillers were previously inspected “as needed,” the work is now officially part of the PM Program and scheduled regularly by PM Direct.

Manager became a Certified DDC Operator

The Department Manager completed the two-day DDC Operator Certification course conducted by AutomaticLogic Corporation. The more certified CCD Operators, the more quickly M&O customers can be served.

Antiquated heating and cooling systems are being replaced

As APS renovates old buildings, newer and higher efficient systems — such as VRF, DDC, hybrid, air washers, and chillers — are replacing energy and maintenance intensive systems.

HVAC ahead of schedule in start-up of summer coolers

Due to an anticipated especially hot spring and amplified oversight of contractors, the HVAC Shop shuffled work demands to accommodate getting cooling systems up and running one month ahead of schedule.

Cooling and heating units recycled

The Sheet Metal shop removed over 40 cooling units and 10+ heating units from the old buildings being demolished at Del Norte High School and installed them at other school sites in need of updated systems. The savings over purchasing new systems was significant.

Increased personnel in HAVC Shop

The Department hired a new HVAC/Sheet Metal Shop Assistant Supervisor filling the position that had been vacant for over a year. The Shop also added a highly qualified HVAC technician. The loss of a sheet metal technician made room for the direly needed HVAC position. The Shop is consequently operating more efficiently.

Participated in the design of HVAC systems installed in new and renovation projects

With the Department’s involvement, maintenance considerations were included in the design and selection of superior systems at new or renovated schools that will require less time and funds to maintain. Facilities include:

  • Chaparral Elementary School
  • Central Kitchen (currently in design)
  • Albuquerque Public Schools Community Athletic Facility (AKA Westside Stadium)
  • Del Norte High School
  • South Valley Academy (Charter School)

PM programs (on-going) - As HVAC and plumbing service inspections are state mandated, the Mechanical Department is ahead in developing PM programs; however, many of the following PM programs are not required. All PM work is automatically generated by PM Direct.

  • Fire protection sprinkler system inspections
  • Kitchen hood suppression systems
  • Exhaust fans
  • HVAC filter change-out
  • AC equipment inspection and fully serviced (pads changed every other year)
  • AC start-ups (evaporative)
  • Winterize AC shut-downs
  • Cooling tower and chiller service
  • Steam boiler service
  • Steam boiler prep for winter heating
  • All heating system start-ups (with and without boilers)
  • Steam boiler layup
  • Steam boiler summer inspections
  • Hot water boiler summer inspections
  • Weekly boiler inspections
  • Chemical treatment for boilers and chillers
  • Annual (primarily summer) inspection and if necessary, repair of plumbing systems
  • Natural Gas Pipe Run: 25% of schools are performed every summer and each school tested every four years. Grease all gas stops (shut off); pressure-test all gas lines; inspect for leaks and repair if found.
  • Water softener treatment
  • Chlorinate treatment
  • Plumbing inspections at all school sites (drains, faucets/fixtures, toilets, urinals, water fountains)
  • Septic pumping and disposal
  • Grease trap pumping
  • Backflow testing and inspection / backflow prevention
  • Inspection and repair of air compressors
  • Chillers inspection and repair
  • Fire pump flow inspections
  • Dry pipe system drip test
  • Air compressors inspections
  • Chiller water closed loop service
  • Ground source closed loop service


Status of 2011-12 Fiscal Year Goals

  • Develop and transition more PM work orders for mandated services through the SchoolDude/FIMS Work Order system. Done
  • Upgrade obsolete and inefficient HVAC and plumbing systems. (On-going goal with progress made each year.) The following are currently planned: A Montoya Elementary School (Phase II); and Grant, Hoover, James Monroe, Jefferson, Kennedy, McKinley, and Wilson Middle Schools. Done with the exception of Hoover and James Monroe Middle Schools (moved to 2012-13 Goals)
  • Convert steam boilers to hot water boilers at McKinley Middle School and Sombra del Monte Elementary School. Done at McKinley Middle School by the Facilities Design + Construction Division. Sombra del Monte and 11 other schools remaining and will be converted pending availability of funds.

2012-13 Goals

  • Install DDC systems at Sandia and Del Norte High Schools.
  • Upgrade obsolete and inefficient HVAC and plumbing systems at Hoover and James Monroe Middle Schools.
  • Certify more technicians to operate DDC systems. While a few technicians have learned the systems, currently only one technician (in addition to the Department Manager) is actually certified. With a few more technicians certified, schools with DDC systems will receive faster responses to work requests.
  • Continue converting from standard evaporative cooling and hot water heating systems to VRF systems in new buildings and renovations.
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