By Chris Stevens
A $70,000 lighting upgrade at the high school is projected to lead to significant savings down the road.
The School Committee voted during its regular meeting to approve a plan that Ken Lord, executive director of Technology & Operations, has been working on that would replace lighting fixtures in both the gym and cafeteria with LED fixtures.
“The total cost of the project is $70,613, with the cost spread over 48 equal monthly payments of $1,471,” reads a memo from Lord to Superintendent Maryann Perry. “We have worked with Town Finance Department and the Town Administrator to allow these costs to count towards the yearly energy reserve.”
The town’s energy reserve is a $250,000 pool of money that town departments are allowed to dip into to cover cost once they have exhausted their respective budget line items.
Lord said Engie and Standard Electric, the company he’s been working with, project a monthly savings to the school’s electric bill of $1,728, “plus additional savings in the cost and labor to replace bulbs and ballast in the existing fixtures.”
Lord said the change would also rid the gym of an annoying buzzing sound that comes from the existing ballast and cut down on maintenance in the cafeteria.
“The cafe installation would replace many burned out fixtures as well as utilize daylight harvesting by reducing the output of the fixtures nearest the windows during the daytime,” Lord wrote in his memo. “The gym lights would be replaced over the December vacation week and the cafeteria lights would be replaced over the February vacation week.”
School Committee member Jennifer Schaeffner said she thought it was a great plan, “and we’re saving money in the process.” She wondered if it proved successful, if it could be replicated at other schools.
Lord said when the Glover School was built, LED lighting was still relatively expensive, but doing it in high profile areas would be the next step.
“Any building could benefit from it,” he said.
Lord also said the design for the new Bell/Coffin/Gerry school includes all LED lighting and “daylight harvesting.”
The committee voted 3-0 to approve, committee members Sara Gold and David Harris were absent.
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