Lighting project scheduled for Coupeville schools

A project will take place this summer that will eventually save the Coupeville School District thousands of dollars in energy costs.

The school board last month approved a contract with C. Thornton Lighting to replace the lighting fixtures in district buildings except the high school.

The project will cost more than $159,000 to complete; however, the Coupeville School District will pay $69,255 while funding from Puget Sound Energy will pay the remainder.

Superintendent Patty Page said the lighting project had been on the district’s radar for years, only there wasn’t money to pay for it. She said the school district would go through the retrofit only if money became available.

The school district tried to get state money from a small school repair grant, but the district didn’t receive funding.

A combination of a higher-than-expected student enrollment, a conservative budget for the current school year and the matching PSE grant was enough for the school district to move forward.

The lighting ballasts will be replaced in the elementary school, middle school, performing arts center, the multi-purpose room, the high school annex and the administration building. Coupeville High School, which was completed five years ago, isn’t part of the lighting retrofit.

In addition to the energy savings, the school district needs to replace the lighting system in the older buildings because the type of ballasts aren’t being produced anymore, Page said.

She said the energy savings over the next three-to-five years will be enough to repay the money spent on the school district’s portion of the project.

Work will start on the lighting project once the school year concludes and will be complete by the time the 2012-2013 school year starts in September.


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