Decades of Commitment Create Thriving Schools in Lafayette Parish

Building a legacy of community excellence


A Firm Foundation

The blueprints of every education facility are crafted with the same vision – a chance to dream big and imagine the wealth of opportunity a space could offer those who walk its halls. In our 100-year history, there have been times when a project exceeds anything we could have dreamed. These special moments set the foundation for an entire community and create a new standard of life and learning.

Lafayette Parish has become a hub of innovation and imagination for education, born from special moments where a space takes on an entirely new meaning and creates something unique to spark further change and evolution.

Bernhard Involvement

For more than 50 years, Bernhard has been entrusted with mechanical and electrical construction for schools across Lafayette Parish, most recently including the Woodvale Elementary School addition, the LJ Alleman Elementary School addition, and HVAC upgrades for multiple high school gymnasiums.

In 2017, Lafayette Parish School System was experiencing rapid growth and needed a new high school to better serve the community. The new facility, Southside High School, was the first to be constructed in Lafayette Parish in nearly 50 years. Bernhard provided mechanical and electrical construction for the new high school in Youngsville, La.

“What was unique about Southside High School was how quickly it needed to be constructed,” said Doug Dorsey, Bernhard vice president. “We had to get creative since 18 months is not long to build a brand-new campus.”

To deliver the project on this aggressive schedule, Bernhard worked as a design-assist partner to construction manager Lemoine.  Design-assist is an alternative construction method that embeds contracting expertise into the design process.  This allowed construction to start as the design was being finalized.

“Our team was brought on board early in the process,” said Dorsey, “When we broke ground on the project, construction documents were only 30% complete. We developed close working relationships with the design team and were able to coordinate with them as we built the project in the field.”

Construction of Southside High School was completed on time, opening for its first class of students in August 2017. The 256,000-square-foot school contains classrooms, administrative offices, a library, laboratories, dining facility, collaboration spaces, and two gymnasiums. Southside High School serves more than 1,200 students in the parish.

The addition of HVAC service and maintenance offerings has enabled Bernhard to support Lafayette Parish School System and other clients in the Lafayette area in a new way.  “We’ve had a full coverage maintenance contract with Lafayette Parish School System for the past nine years,” said Kevin Miller, business unit manager at Bernhard. “That means we continue to maintain and repair the equipment and HVAC systems at many facilities in the district, including Southside High School.” Miller and his team service more than 3.7 million square feet for the school district.

Our Commitment

“It’s something special to be a part of,” said Dorsey. “Many of our employees have children who have grown up attending Lafayette Parish schools. To be able to say we played a part in building those facilities and keeping them operating efficiently, means a lot to all of us.”

Bernhard ultimately strives to be a trusted partner for our customers. We have been trusted with expanding and maintaining the Lafayette Parish legacy over the past five decades with innovative spaces and practices that enable the parish to promote the education and growth of our communities. We are committed not only to building these facilities of learning, but to building the future of our communities.


Bernhard Announces Acquisition of ETC Group; Further Advancing Technological Operations

ETC Group brings expertise in navigating complex buildings


Bernhard, the largest privately-owned Energy-as-a-Service company in the United States, announced this week the completion of its acquisition of ETC Group, LLC, which includes software subsidiary companies BuildingFit and GrowFit Analytics. ETC Group is a leader in energy efficiency and commissioning that has provided services to reduce building energy waste, reduce operational costs, and create healthy and comfortable environments to patients and tenants for more than 30 years.

“Along with decades of success, ETC Group brings to Bernhard a highly qualified team with a unique skillset that has pushed the boundaries of what’s possible through technology in our industry,” said Tim Staley, president of engineering at Bernhard. “They have proven to be trendsetters, innovators, and changed the landscape of how facilities use technology to achieve more energy efficiency.”

Bernhard’s acquisition provides support and resources that will bolster ETC’s continued growth. Based in Utah with offices in Arizona and Nevada, ETC Group prides itself in delivering innovative solutions to complex engineering problems and for implementing leading-edge data analytics techniques. With the acquisition, Bernhard will expand its national presence and nearly double their software development capabilities.

ETC Group and Bernhard have enjoyed a working relationship during the last three years, which has seen collaboration on multiple projects in the United States. This past relationship highlights shared core values and a passion in finding the best solutions to guide facilities on their energy-saving journey.

Bernhard has provided solutions to its customers’ energy and infrastructure needs for more than 100 years before shifting its focus in 2014 to becoming a leading Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) provider. To date, Bernhard has closed 15 EaaS transactions, including the largest EaaS healthcare concession in U.S. history and has more than $750 million in total EaaS financed investments over the past four years.

“This opportunity is made possible because of the incredibly talented employees that have made ETC Group the company that it is today,” said Spencer Shaffer, ETC Group CEO. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to join the Bernhard family and for our clients to now receive not the same, but heightened levels of results we have been trusted to provide for 34 years.”

Claudia M. Meer Joins Bernhard Board of Directors

Leading Energy-as-a-Service executive joins Bernhard’s strategic team


Bernhard, the largest privately-owned, Energy-as-a-Service (“EaaS”) company in the United States, welcomes Claudia Meer to its board of directors. Ms. Meer joins a board composed of Ed Tinsley, Bernhard’s CEO, and members of DIF Capital Partners (“DIF”), Bernhard’s majority owner, through its DIF Infrastructure VI fund.

Based in the Washington, D.C. area, Ms. Meer brings a wealth of rich executive and board-level experience in the EaaS space. Ms. Meer formerly served as Chief Investment Officer and CFO, of AlphaStruxure, an EaaS joint venture between The Carlyle Group and Schneider Electric, formed to develop and fund clean energy infrastructure. Prior to AlphaStruxure, Ms. Meer was the CEO of Dalkia U.S. and ran the public-private partnership and clean energy development and investment groups at Clark Construction.

“Claudia’s industry leading expertise driving the realization of organic and inorganic growth strategies in Energy-as-a-Service companies will be an invaluable asset to Bernhard.” said Tinsley. “Ms. Meer will be an instrumental resource as Bernhard embarks on its next chapter of growth and expands its focus on distributed generation technologies to support its customers.”

“It is an honor to be working with one of the best teams in the EaaS industry as Bernhard continues to set the standard in energy services,” said Ms. Meer. “This group is strategic, thoughtful and focused on the future for its clients and for ESG services and is continuously seeking innovative and responsible solutions.”

Ms. Meer holds a Masters in International Finance and Management from Harvard University and a Bachelors in International Economics and Diplomatic History from the University of Pennsylvania. She actively volunteers in advisory capacities with The Penn Fund Executive Board, Maryland Clean Energy Center, and Boost Innovation Company.