OSPI Energy Grants Announced
OLYMPIA — April 17, 2013 — A total of 28 districts were collectively awarded $20 million for school facility energy efficiency improvements, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction announced this week.
The award is part of a $40 million commitment by the state Legislature to help schools produce long-term energy and operational savings, improve the indoor environmental qualities of schools and help stimulate construction-industry jobs in the state.
“We’re pleased with the ways districts are becoming more energy efficient,” said Randy Dorn, state superintendent. “We are seeing projects that replace old heating systems with newer, more energy-efficient systems. Some districts are replacing old fluorescent lighting fixtures for which bulbs are no longer being made. Students and staff will benefit from a better indoor environment.”
In all, 54 school districts applied for grant funding for school infrastructure and building system improvements exceeding $84.3 million in total project costs.
To qualify for the funds, school districts conducted an investment-grade audit of their school facilities to identify projects that would yield energy savings and be most beneficial overall. Districts used performance contracting, in which the contractor guarantees the energy savings, as well as the traditional method of hiring a designer to design and a contractor to build. All of the projects are required to measure and verify the energy savings.
The $40 million was appropriated through Senate Bill 5127. Together with funds remaining from a prior appropriation, nearly $41 million in grant requests were awarded during the past year. In May 2012, 14 districts received a total of $5.9 million, and in December 2012, 21 districts received a total of $14.9 million.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.
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The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.