WARRENSBURG -- Warrensburg is the latest school district to be working on sunshine — power, that is.
The Warrensburg Board of Education on Monday voted to contract with New York Light Energy to install a 200-kilowatt system at both the junior-senior high school and the elementary school as well as a 50-kilowatt system on the bus garage.
Superintendent Timothy Lawson said the district would like to complete the project sometime in the spring.
“We’re looking to reduce our expenses per kilowatt-hour and our carbon footprint,” he said.
The solar company pays for the equipment up front, so there is no cost to the local taxpayer, according to Lawson. He estimated that the district would be able to generate enough electricity to offset the cost of the bus garage’s electricity use.
The board selected New York Light Energy because members liked the responsiveness of the company.
Board President Laura Danna said she is pleased the board is moving ahead with the project.
“I’m sure it’s going to be good, not only for the school, but for the environment,” she said.
Warrensburg is just the latest district to undertake a solar energy project.
Queensbury has also contracted with New York Light Energy Company to install a solar energy system on four school buildings and the district transportation facility, which school officials will save more than $1 million during the next 20 years.
Cambridge is working with a competing company called Monolith Solar on a project to install solar panels. The South Glens Falls district is at the early stages of exploring solar energy.
In addition to the solar energy initiative, Lawson said Warrensburg is tackling some additional construction projects because it has leftover money from the $2.5 million capital fund that involved replacing roofs at the high school, bus garage and maintenance building.
The roof work is done, according to Lawson. The cement was poured for the new bus repair lift and it needs to cure for a couple of weeks before it is hard enough to accommodate a bus.
Because of low bids that came in on the project, the district has about $800,000 left. School officials want to use these funds to upgrade the computer system that controls the energy system, which Lawson said is about 20 years old.
Lawson also wants to replace high wattage light bulbs in places like the gymnasium and cafeteria with more energy efficient lighting. The money would also install a video surveillance system.
In addition, the board also approved a separate $100,000 project to replace lockers at the junior-senior high school and hired SEI Design as the contractor.