Valparaiso Community Schools is already seeing an impact from its energy savings projects.
Bob McKinney with construction manager Stratelign says contractor Veregy began upgrading lights to LED technology in September. Currently, 55 percent of the fixtures at Thomas Jefferson Middle School have been replaced.
“To put it in perspective, those fixtures that have been replaced have already reduced the annual kW-h usage by over 200,000 kilowatt-hours, resulting in $25,000 in annual savings to the school in that small portion alone,” McKinney told the school board last week.
Overall, the $5.8 million project will include LED lights at nine school buildings, new boilers at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and solar panels on the Thomas Jefferson campus. Work is expected to be complete by the end of 2024, and the project is guaranteed to pay for itself over the next 20 years.
Meanwhile, Valparaiso Community Schools plans to upgrade some of its security equipment, thanks to a federal grant. The school corporation was recently awarded $390,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The district plans to use that money to offset the cost of new cameras, along with updates to parking lot lighting, two-way radios, PA systems and secured entrances at Hayes Leonard School.
“We’re happy to report that this grant is going to help offset some projects that we already had planned in part of our capital projects, so it’s very exciting that we received this one,” said Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education Dr. Judy Barbknecht.