What is a combined PlanCon ESCo

Combined PlanCon/Performance Contract Project Process

In today’s challenging economic climate for education, Pennsylvania public school districts face complex choices when it comes to addressing deferred maintenance and construction projects.

Many school buildings were constructed 40, 50 and even 60 years ago and their layouts no longer fit today’s educational programs. Combine that with aging infrastructure that has exceeded its useful life and lacks modern-day efficiency and state subsidies that are shrinking every year and you have a recipe for disaster. How does a school district address these issues as well as the constantly growing list of deferred maintenance needs in this time of severe budget constraints?

One tool school districts have to address these questions is to do a combined PlanCon/ Performance Contract.

PlanCon is an acronym for the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Planning and Construction Workbook. PlanCon uses a set of forms and procedures to apply for commonwealth reimbursement for a major construction project.

Performance contracts or guaranteed energy savings agreement (GESA) projects are construction programs that focus on energy conservation measures (lighting, HVAC and controls, water conservation, building evelope, etc…) and use a guaranteed level of energy savings to offset some or all of the project cost.

When a school district is able to combine these two methods of procurement the potential exists to minimize the impact to the taxpayer, while meeting more facility and infrastructure needs than either procurement method can address alone.

Benefits of Combined PlanCon/Performance Contract Projects

  • Below, we have provided a brief listing of some of the main benefits of utilizing the combined PlanCon/Performance Contract approach to construction projects:
  • Allows for a more comprehensive project scope than can be addressed separately
  • Allows for more creative solutions that focus on the problems, saving significant construction costs
  • Minimizes the local taxpayer contribution by maximizing the state reimbursement and leveraging energy savings to pay for the majority of the project costs
  • Benefits from GESA rules to reduce vulnerability to change orders and bad contractors
  • Provides an opportunity to utilize full construction management services at a significantly reduced cost
  • Provides a high quality project with fully commissioned HVAC systems and a performance guarantee

PlanCon/Performance Contract Case Study

Indian Valley Elementary Center

Reynolds is working with the Mifflin County School District to renovate the Indian Valley Elementary Center. The district had $9.6 million to address the deficiencies of this 1950s vintage school building, while the needs identified totaled slightly more than $14 million.

By incorporating a performance contract into this project, the district now has been able to address more of the building’s needs than they would have by simply approaching this as a traditional PlanCon project.



  • Local Contribution $3,700,000
  • PlanCon Reimbursement $5,900,000

TOTAL $9,600,000



  • Local Contribution $3,300,000
  • PlanCon Reimbursement $5,900,000
  • Energy Savings Contribution $2,000,000

TOTAL $11,200,000


The project scope was increased by $1.6 million to pay for much needed renovations while the local taxpayer contribution was reduced by $400,000. The project was transformed from a partial renovation to a comprehensive lifecycle project while reducing the taxpayer impact.


  • Renovate shops into kindergarten wing
  • Partial/no window replacement
  • Partial roof replacement (20 yr. warranty)
  • Partial asbestos removal
  • Partial lighting replacement
  • No cooling in classrooms
  • Conventional boiler plant
  • Heat recovery system


  • Renovate shops into kindergarten wing
  • Full window replacement throughout building
  • Complete new roof (30-year warranty)
  • Complete asbestos removal
  • Complete lighting replacement
  • Dehumidification system in classrooms
  • High-efficiency boiler plant

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