North Summit School District to install LED light bulbs in schools |

North Summit School District to install LED light bulbs in schools

The North Summit School District has had a bright idea.

The district is set to replace the fluorescent lighting throughout its three schools with energy-efficient LED light bulbs in an effort to save money and leave a smaller carbon footprint. Jerre Holmes, superintendent, said the initial cost of replacing the lighting will be about $100,000, but the district will pocket about $27,000 of savings a year from a lower electricity bill.

Additionally, the new lighting will provide the district with some much-needed financial flexibility. The initial $100,000 investment will come from the capital fund, where the district is healthy, but the yearly savings will affect the more cash-strapped maintenance and operations fund. law, the district is not allowed to transfer money between the funds, but this solution is a bit of a workaround.

Holmes said the money the district will save will make a meaningful impact for students.

"That’s the real win-win for us," he said. "While $27,000 isn’t a lot when you’re talking a multi-million dollar budget, when you break it down to a teacher salary, a first-year teacher would be $34,000. Just to be able to have that kind of money, whether it be for a teacher or a couple more aides or a professional development day, is huge. The possibilities that $27,000 carry in our district are pretty good. That’s a good, workable number."

The new light bulbs are set to be installed as early as March. Holmes is aiming to have at least one school completed by the time the school year ends.

"The only ones we’re not going to change out will be the lights on the football field," he said.

In addition to the financial benefits, the switch allows the district to do its part to help the environment and aid the Summit Community Power Works energy project.

"We feel good about it," Holmes said. "The fact that we are going green is, I think, a good lesson for kids. There’s just no reason not to do this."

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