The WISE Center

The WISE (Walton Initiative for Success in Education) Center is a K-12 magnet school.  The school, a multi-building complex with covered walkways and canopies was originally designed and constructed in 1968 and later expanded in the mid-1990’s. Annexes were added on the north and south sides of the original building to provide additional classroom / science lab space and are now used, in part, for administrative functions.


    • Location:  DeFuniack Springs, FL
    • Project Size: 93,000 SF
    • Cost:  $1,900,000
    • Facility Type: K-12 Schools
    • Owner: Walton County School District
    • Services:  Mechanical Engineer

The WISE Center underwent its previous mechanical systems upgrade in 1992. The upgrade included the installation of packaged rooftop units, split-system heat pumps, and variable air volume terminal units. As such, most of the major equipment installed during the last renovation had been utilized beyond the typical lifespan of the HVAC equipment. Maintaining the equipment was becoming an issue as well due to the type of refrigerant used in these systems and the industry phase-out of refrigerants utilized by older systems.

The project entailed not only a complete replacement of the existing HVAC equipment systems, but at the design team’s recommendation, also required extensive upgrades to the educational facility’s roof. Fourteen (14) new packaged rooftop units and twelve (12) new roof-mounted exhaust fans were installed as part of the project and providing a pristine roof on which to mount the equipment would help to ensure that flashing around the HVAC equipment’s roof penetrations would be effective in preventing water leaks around the equipment mounting curbs.

In addition to the HVAC roof-mounted equipment, one ductless split-system DX unit and four (4) fully ducted split-system DX units were installed, as well as fifty (50) new variable air volume terminal units. The air terminal units allowed eight (8) of the packaged rooftop units to serve between 4 and 7 different climate control zones each. Dell Consulting’s electrical engineers and designers provided for all improvements and renovations to the school’s electrical system necessary to support the new HVAC equipment, smoke detection systems, upgrades to facility power and lighting, and to expand the school’s existing fire alarm system.

The new HVAC system installed as the major component of this project improved the school’s indoor air quality by increasing the outside air ventilation to the building, ensuring that the educational facility was pressurized properly to reduce unconditioned outside air infiltration, and created more individual temperature control zones by installing more variable air volume terminal units than had existed prior to the renovation.

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