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Valparaiso Community Schools’ Energy Savings Projects Yield Positive Results

Valparaiso Community Schools is making significant strides in energy efficiency with its ongoing energy savings projects. Led by construction manager Stratelign, the school district has partnered with contractor Veregy to replace traditional lights with energy-saving LED technology.

Since September, Veregy has successfully replaced 55 percent of fixtures at Thomas Jefferson Middle School with LED lights. The impact has been remarkable, with the school already witnessing a reduction of over 200,000 kilowatt-hours in annual energy usage. As a result, the school is saving an impressive $25,000 per year in this specific area alone.

The $5.8 million project aims to equip nine school buildings with LED lights, install new boilers at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, and install solar panels at the Thomas Jefferson campus. By the end of 2024, the comprehensive project is expected to be completed, providing substantial energy savings for the school district. Furthermore, over the next two decades, the project is guaranteed to pay for itself, making it a sustainable investment with long-term benefits.

In addition to their energy savings initiatives, Valparaiso Community Schools has secured a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) to enhance their security equipment. The grant, totaling $390,000, will be utilized to upgrade cameras, parking lot lighting, two-way radios, PA systems, and secured entrances at Hayes Leonard School.

Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education, Dr. Judy Barbknecht, expressed gratitude for the grant and stated how it would assist in offsetting existing capital projects. With the additional funding, the school district can proceed with their planned security enhancements while maximizing their budget.

Valparaiso Community Schools’ commitment to energy efficiency and the safety of its students is evident. Through these innovative projects, the district is setting a positive example for other educational institutions and proving that sustainability and security can go hand in hand.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is Valparaiso Community Schools’ energy savings project?
Valparaiso Community Schools has initiated a project to upgrade lighting fixtures in several school buildings to more energy-efficient LED technology. The project also includes the installation of solar panels and new boilers.

2. How much energy has already been saved?
By replacing 55 percent of fixtures at Thomas Jefferson Middle School with LED lights, the school district has reduced its annual kilowatt-hour usage by over 200,000, resulting in $25,000 in annual savings.

3. How much does the overall project cost?
The comprehensive project, including LED lighting, new boilers, and solar panels, amounts to $5.8 million.

4. When will the project be completed?
The project is expected to be finished by the end of 2024.

5. How will the project be funded?
The project is self-financing and guaranteed to pay for itself over the next 20 years.

6. What is the purpose of the federal grant received by Valparaiso Community Schools?
Valparaiso Community Schools secured a grant of $390,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The grant will be utilized to upgrade security equipment, including cameras, parking lot lighting, radios, PA systems, and entrances at Hayes Leonard School.