Summer solar project should save Glendale Unified millions of dollars

Seven Glendale schools will be outfitted with solar panels during the summer, which district officials say should save millions of dollars in utility costs in the coming decades.

The schools include Clark Magnet and Crescenta Valley high schools, Rosemont Middle School and Keppel, Columbus, Mountain Avenue and Monte Vista elementary schools. The $7.2-million project will be paid for with funds from Measure S, a $270-million school bond passed by local voters in April 2011.

“This is a fiscally and environmentally responsible way to leverage bond dollars for long-term general fund savings,” school board member Greg Krikorian said in a statement.

In the first year, the solar panels are projected to save the district $543,000. The estimated cost savings during the next three decades is $18 million.

“The projects are a visible step in 21st century solutions, providing a clean energy alternative to several of our schools where projects proved most cost-effective,” Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan said in a statement.

Some of the panels will also shade parking spaces, playgrounds and lunch areas.

Glendale Unified officials have moved quickly to put Measure S dollars to work. In March, they set in motion a $24.3-million makeover of College View School, which serves 75 severely disabled students.

Also in March, the district began distributing hundreds of new laptops among its teacher corps, a total investment of $1.75 million.

Other forthcoming projects include an overhaul of the athletic fields at Hoover High School.

Twitter: @megankoneil

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