Monroe Schools get energy-efficient lighting upgrade

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    Courtesy of the Journal-News

    By Michael D. Clark

    Staff Writer

    MONROE – The future is getting brighter in Monroe’s schools.

    Electrical and HVAC workers have been re-wiring lighting in Monroe’s two schools while also installing an energy-efficient boiler as part of a $690,000 project at the Butler County school system.

    It’s the largest such overall in Monroe Schools history, and with the help of state funding the improved energy efficiencies are projected to save the district about $96,000 annually in utilities costs, said Monroe officials.

    “It’s definitely a lot brighter,” says Monroe Middle School social students teacher Tammy Larison, who was in the grade 2-12 school this week prepping her classroom for classes starting next month.

    “It’s definitely going to add to the atmosphere and hopefully keep the kids awake and ready to learn,” she joked.

    Julie Conner, spokeswoman for the LeVeck lighting company, which is doing the summer break work on the district’s lights, says the electrical upgrades of interior and exterior lights will not only make the schools more energy efficient but will enhance learning.

    “It’s going to brighten up the learning environment for the kids … and it will save some money,” said Conner.

    The project also brightens the smile on Monroe Superintendent Phil Cagwin’s face.

    “This program allows our school district to continue to make efficient use of our taxpayer dollars, as we invest in energy-saving enhancements that will improve the environment while saving on utility costs,” said Cagwin.

    The work began in early June, and is nearly complete, he said.

    “It is great that our students and teachers were not hampered by any of the work. The company that is doing the upgrading of the HVAC systems, IES-Comfort Systems is actually ahead of schedule, and we expect all final adjustments to be made prior to when teachers and students return for the new school year.”

    The projects are being supervised by the Energy Optimizers company, and the district’s costs will be paid off in about 15 years.

    “They did an extensive survey of our systems and their engineers determined our energy savings once the upgrades and retrofits were installed,” Cagwin said. “They shared their work with the engineers at the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission to confirm the cost savings are accurate and achievable.”

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