Council Rock School District awarded grant

CRSD has been awarded a $2 million state grant for comprehensive energy efficiency upgrades to Rolling Hills Elementary School

The Times

Council Rock School District has been awarded a $2 million state grant through the Alternative and Clean Energy Program for comprehensive energy efficiency upgrades to Rolling Hills Elementary School in Northampton Township, according to state Sen. Tommy Tomlinson.

Tomlinson said the district will use the grant to help renovate 54,110 square feet as well as construct 10,524 square feet of additions to Rolling Hills Elementary School.

Planned energy savings features include geothermal heating and cooling, energy-efficient lighting, automated energy control systems, low-flow water-saving fixtures, occupancy-based temperature and lighting, solar panels and an improved thermal envelope.

The project is expected to reduce energy consumption by an estimated 1,118,324 kBTU annually. Low-flow water fixtures will reduce water consumption by more than 53,676 gallons annually, a savings of 20 percent.

The total project cost is $22,468,100.

“We are thrilled that the residents of Council Rock will benefit from this $2 million grant toward making energy conservation part of the anticipated renovations of Rolling Hills Elementary. This brings a total of $6 million that state Sen. Tommy Tomlinson has brought to Council Rock. He also helped to obtain $2 million grants for Holland Middle and Newtown Middle School, both of which are targeting opening in the fall for the 2018–2019 school year. I would like to thank Sen. Tomlinson for his continuous support of Council Rock. Without his leadership and that of the entire school board, this would have never happened,” said Jerold Grupp, president of Council Rock School Board.

“By implementing energy-efficiency features, the school district will be able to save tax dollars and provide a better, more environmentally friendly facility for students and teachers,” Tomlinson said. “I’m pleased that a school in our district is benefitting from this funding.”

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Meanwhile, Wendi Thomas, Republican candidate in the 178th Legislative District, thanked Sen. Tomlinson for helping to secure the grant through the Alternative and Clean Energy Program, an effort she began as a member of the Council Rock School Board.

The grant will be used to help implement comprehensive energy-efficiency upgrades to Rolling Hills Elementary School in Northampton Township.

“As the president of the Council Rock School Board, I advocated strongly for our district to take advantage of these grant programs when they were first discussed in 2014,” Thomas stated. “The grant awarded today is one I pushed for specifically as a school board member, and I appreciate the hard work of Sen. Tomlinson in helping obtain it for our community.”

The ACE grant awarded to Council Rock will help renovate more than 54,000 square feet and construct more than 10,000 square feet of additions at Rolling Hills Elementary School. Energy-saving technologies will include geothermal heating and cooling, energy-efficient lighting, automated energy controls, low-flow water fixtures and solar panels.

“This ACE grant is another example of how strong leadership can help improve our schools without burdening local taxpayers, and builds upon my record of helping save taxpayers millions of dollars as a school board member,” Thomas said.

Thomas served on the Council Rock School Board from 2008 to earlier this year, when she retired to focus on her campaign.

Thomas lost a special election to Democrat Helen Tai by 101 votes on May 15. They will have a rematch in November’s general election.

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Rep. Tai also commended the grant.

“We all need to find ways to reduce our energy consumption, and I’m happy to see Council Rock School District leading the way with this project,” she said. “I’m pleased that the district was awarded this grant and look forward to the state continuing to encourage others to adopt energy-efficient practices.”

Tai recently co-sponsored House Bill 2132, which would provide for Pennsylvania’s transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

“Moving to 100 percent renewable energy will help preserve our environment while also creating new clean energy jobs,” she said. “I’ll continue to advocate for Pennsylvania to take the lead on this issue for a cleaner, healthier environment.” ••