State grant aids school projects

The Enumclaw School District was one of 22 who have been awarded money for various school construction projects.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn recently announced Enumclaw will receive $227,500 of the $14.5 million.

“We are very excited and honored to be one of 22 districts in the state to receive this grant,” Superintendent Mike Nelson said. “I am very appreciative to Director of Business and Operations Randy Stocker and Facilities Coordinator Pete French for submitting this application.”

The money, part of $100 million in competitive energy grants provided by the 2010 Legislature, will be used for heating, ventilation, and air condition systems, repair and upgrade of controls, replacement of inefficient lighting and building improvements. Many of the construction projects will be able to begin this summer, providing much needed jobs to all parts of the state.

With the money Enumclaw will update lighting and heating and cooling systems at Enumclaw High School and Westwood, Kibler and Black Diamond elementary schools.

“This will represent an energy savings of $41,000 per year,” Nelson said.

“This money will go a long way toward making sure that kids are healthy in their schools,” Dorn said in a press release. “Relatively simple things, like proper ventilation and adequate lights, can have a positive impact on student learning.”

To qualify for the funds, school districts conducted audits of their school facilities to identify projects that could demonstrate guaranteed energy savings. The state money is being augmented with local “leverage” dollars.

In addition, utility companies provide financial incentives to homes, schools and business for projects and purchases that reduce energy consumption. School districts receiving these grants have estimated about $1.9 million in utility incentives for these projects.

Combining the $14.5 million with the utility company incentives and local leverage dollars, the construction projects are estimated to be worth $42 million.

Of the total $100 million, OSPI will administer $50 million for K-12 public school districts. The state Department of Commerce will administer the other $50 million for K-12 public school districts and public higher education institutions.

The $14.5 million is the first round of awards given by OSPI. The deadline for the second round of applications is Aug. 27. The Department of Commerce’s round one application deadline was Monday.

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