Laurens School Districts receive stimulus grants to replace outdated equipment
August 21, 2009
Laurens School Districts 55 and 56 have both been awarded federal stimulus funds by the South Carolina Budget and Control Board’s State Energy Office to make energy efficiency improvements at several schools.
Laurens School District 55 has been awarded $136,377 which it will put towards a performance contract to increase energy efficiency and lower utility costs.
“Laurens School District 55 is very appreciative of this money,” Superintendent Dr. Billy Strickland said. “With the budget shortfalls that are certainly occurring this does provide us with money that is very useful in operating our school district.”
Lighting and sensor improvements as well as water conservation measures will be implemented in 10 buildings. Three additional buildings will receive mechanical improvements. Laurens High School will make changes to its control system and install a new insulated front door. Hickory Tavern Elementary and Middle schools will install new windows.
Laurens School District 56 will receive $112,000 to replace a water heater in the kitchen of Clinton High School. Replacing the outdated water heater will significantly reduce natural gas consumption and will save the district more than $14,000 annually for 20 years.
"These funds will help us as we continue to work towards improving our schools for our students," Laurens 56 Superintendent Dr. Wayne Brazell said. "The gained energy efficiency with the replacement of this water heater in the high school will help us reduce costs, something we are especially grateful for during these tough economic times."
These are examples of just two of the 150 awards totaling $40 million that will be issued by the Budget and Control Board’s South Carolina Energy Office in the next few months. School districts, technical colleges, universities and state agencies are all eligible for the funds which can be used to replace outdated, energy-wasting lighting, window and HVAC systems.
The state’s 85 school districts will share $20.3 million in grants and loans for energy efficiency. The state’s public two- and four-year colleges will receive a total of $12.2 million, and state agencies will receive $7.4 million. Each entity’s allocation is based on the size of the organization’s energy bill.
“We are committed to ensuring this money goes to work as soon as possible making South Carolina schools and other facilities more efficient,” said John Clark, director of the South Carolina Energy Office. “These awards will save tax dollars by cutting utility bills and will help our local economy as recipients buy equipment and services in the community.”