Faced with budget cuts and tax-weary voters, schools nationwide are struggling. In fact, K-12 schools need an additional $46 billion just to bridge the funding gap for deferred maintenance and capital construction, according to a report from U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools, the 21st-Century Fund, and the National Council on School Facilities.
Faced with those kinds of massive deficits, what can K-12 school districts do?
The answer for a growing number of savvy school officials is to leverage energy savings that can then be used to fund capital improvements and address much needed deferred maintenance.
Here’s a look at three school districts that have used this formula successfully — and what they were able to accomplish. Click on the videos to learn more about each one.
1. Snowline, Calif., Joint Unified School District.
This district became a sustainability innovator with net-zero energy campuses that respond to peak demand energy usage. The district will generate $8 million in annual utility cost savings that it’s pumping back into its facilities to address much-needed deferred maintenance and add smarter HVAC controls. Snowline can now provide students with a 21st-Century learning experience that will continue into the future, thanks to the district’s innovative facilities master plan. Click on the video to learn more.
2. Limestone County School District, Athens, Ala.
Officials here completed district-wide renovations for less than the cost of building just one new school — and the scope of the improvements went beyond just energy efficiency. After more than a decade of deferred maintenance, the school’s facilities were in dire need of improvements. Thanks to a comprehensive energy savings plan, the school is savings 22 percent or $500,000 annually— a total of $13 million over the life of the contract. All told, it was one of the largest school district renovations in the state, helping keep Limestone Country vibrant — all without raising taxes. Click on the video to learn more.
3. Stockton, Calif. Unified School District.
Officials wanted high performance buildings to support high performance students, but they couldn’t accomplish those goals with their facility budget. Working with Schneider Electric to optimize $6.3 million in Prop 39 funding was the solution. As a result, the district funded upgrades that lowered annual utility costs — one of its largest line items — by $271,000, reduced carbon output by 200 tons and created its first Zero Net Energy campuses. Now the district can proudly point to the way its high performance buildings nurture high-performance students. Click on the video to learn more.
What are the needs of your district and how can Schneider Electric help you meet them? Get answers to those questions and learn more about how school districts can escape the deferred maintenance trap at www.enable.schneider-electric.com.