November 6, 2012

District avoids more than $1.3 million in energy costs since 2001

More than $1.3 million worth of savings have accumulated since 2001 as a result of energy conservation measures the Hamilton School District has in place. Buildings and Grounds Manager Jeff Grove provided a report to the School Board detailing how the district avoided increased energy costs.

Energy avoidance costs for 2011 were $243,200 — significantly higher than any of the past 11 years. The greatest savings in 2011 came from Hamilton High School at $95,289, Templeton Middle School at $62,228 and Maple Avenue Elementary School at $49,731. The remaining four schools had a combined energy cost avoidance of nearly $39,000.

The numbers reflect dollars that would have been spent on energy if the district had not taken conservation measures that included:

  • added insulation to roof replacements;
  • use of low E argon gas in window replacements;
  • energy-efficient boiler upgrades;
  • water-conserving fixtures;
  • energy-efficient lighting upgrades including use of T-8 fluorescent lighting and solar lighting in the football field shelter;
  • new air conditioning units with “green” refrigerants; and
  • building management system upgrades that automatically troubleshoot and schedule heating and air conditioning.

Grove noted that the district is at a point where most of the major capital changes have been made and will now rely on technology to help keep costs down.

In addition to taking advantage of Focus on Energy rebates for energy-efficient purchases, the district uses the services of a Project Save consultant who helps to analyze energy use.

Templeton to create new action steps

Templeton Middle School saw significant accomplishments in each of its site plan tactics last year and its planning team believes the tactics are still important for the school’s success. Because most of the action steps related to each tactic are at or near completion, the school will have new action steps next year to increase student achievement and align with the district strategic plan and initiatives such as Response to Intervention and disciplinary literacy. Principal Patricia Polczynski said committees will form in the coming year to create deeper action steps.

The tactics that will remain the same indicate that Templeton students will:

  • increase literary skills and competencies across all content areas;
  • develop critical thinking and problem solving skills to become productive citizens in our global society; and
  • increase their emotional intelligence and individual resiliency skills to be increasingly successful young adults.

Maple Avenue site plan approved

Maple Avenue Elementary School staff members have done a good job in meeting the needs of students at their school, a job that has added challenges for the portion of students who are more transient.

Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., said the Maple Avenue staff members have made remarkable progress with students, especially those who transition in and out of the school. She credited staff with doing a good job in targeting student needs.

Principal Kristin Koeper-Hamblin said staff members “take ownership of all students” including the majority of students who need to be challenged.  She provided an update to the School Board on the school’s site plan which indicates that:

  • Students will develop oral and written skills to communicate effectively and purposefully with others;
  • Students will be engaged in meaningful and active learning to support maximum achievement for each child; and
  • Teachers will implement quality assessment practices and assist students in monitoring their own progress to ensure continuous learning.