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Customer Stories

Osseo Area Schools - ISD #279

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The aging, unreliable boilers at two Osseo area elementary schools were in need of replacement. In addition, the district’s obsolete controls system offered no scheduling or monitoring capabilities, causing facility managers to take a problem-resolution-based approach to daily operations, rather than a proactive building management approach.

Although the school district had access to a pool of State and Federal funds, they were required to use the money to design, advertise work, select contractors, and get projects completed within a short timeframe. The district often found that by the time they had a contractor on board, they had run out of time to get the work done. Osseo Area Schools sought a fast solution to their upgrade needs.


Faced with completing the critical upgrades for Osseo Area Schools under a compressed schedule, the district’s engineering consultant determined that using The Cooperative Purchasing Network (TCPN) would provide the best value for the district and enable them to complete the work in the allotted timeframe. The school district moved forward with the upgrade, with the engineering consultant selecting Trane, a preapproved TCPN vendor for the project.

Leveraging purchasing power
TCPN allows large and small government entities such as schools, cities, counties and non-profits to leverage their purchasing power. All TCPN contracts are competitively bid and evaluated by a government entity. Contracts are awarded to national vendors in accordance with purchasing procedures mandated by state procurement laws, and are based on quality, proven performance, customer satisfaction and pricing. Using TCPN helped the Osseo school district to ensure they were receiving a good value for every dollar they spent on products and services.

Streamlining brand and vendor selection process
Using TCPN helped Osseo Area Schools streamline procurement, decreasing the normal eight week process to just two weeks. Together, Osseo Area Schools and Trane selected potential subcontractors, which included local suppliers that were familiar to the district and that offered desired brands. Trane handled the bidding process and together the district and Trane assembled a team of trusted equipment, electrical and plumbing subcontractors known for their quality work and their ability to meet expectations.

Implementing a complete turnkey solution
Using TCPN enabled the district to broaden the project scope to include replacing steam boilers at the two elementary schools with condensing hot water boilers, as well as installing hot water heaters, piping, pumps, coils and valves. At one district high school, sixty-five dual duct variable-air-volume (VAV) units with pneumatic controls were replaced with VariTrane™ VAV units with wireless controls. Approximately 300 lighting fixtures were also replaced with high-efficiency lighting at the high school.

Using wireless technology for a faster upgrade
A new web-based Trane® Tracer SC™ building automation system (BAS) allows facility managers remote access to HVAC systems to monitor operations, view reports and trends, and perform tasks such as scheduling, alarm management, troubleshooting and data analysis. Trane® Air-Fi™ wireless technology eliminated the need to install communication wires between the system and unit controllers enabling a faster, more cost-effective controls upgrade. The redundant, self-repairing mesh technology of Air-Fi maintains wireless communication, even when signals are disrupted, rerouting around obstacles to eliminate the risk of disconnection.


Using TCPN for critical upgrades at three district locations, Osseo Area Schools was able to leverage purchasing power to enable an expanded scope of work to be completed. The streamlined procurement process was completed in a third of the normal time, allowing the district to meet tight funding and construction deadlines. The district was able to select desired brands and support the community by choosing local vendors for the construction work. Wireless controls technology and a Tracer SC BAS enable the district to better manage building operations, helping to create a more comfortable learning environment.

“If the boilers aren’t up and running by October, it’s cold,” said Dale Carlstrom, director of facilities and transportation operations, Osseo Area Schools. “Without TCPN, we would have had to add weeks or months to complete a sealed bid, and that would have been without a lot of control of the outcome. Using TCPN, we have a pre-negotiated contract, you can look at your options, select the products and vendors you want, and know what you are getting.”