ELLSWORTH — Building upgrades to improve energy efficiency and air quality will happen sooner than later in Regional School Unit 24 (RSU 24) with the receipt of $2.9 million in an interest-free loan.
The money was provided by the state Department of Education through the federal Qualified School Construction Bond program, according to RSU 24 Superintendent Suzanne Lukas.
“This is an opportunity to do some projects that will improve energy efficiency and save energy costs,” Lukas said. “The sooner you do these projects, the sooner you see the savings.”
Maine was one of 10 schools to receive the funding, according to Business Manager David Bridgham, who submitted the application to the state Board of Education.
He said improvements usually are made one at a time and often when there is a system failure.
“We all know that preventive maintenance is far cheaper than repairs done in an emergency,” Bridgham said. “Ultimately, our kids will be in buildings that are more comfortable and healthy and save taxpayers money.”
Bridgham said he asked for funding to install LED lighting at the two new schools — Peninsula School in Gouldsboro and Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School — but was turned down.
However, the state did approve funding for building maintenance and upgrades at every other school within RSU 24.
Schools and Funding
Cave Hill School, Eastbrook, $132,000
Ella Lewis School, Steuben, $550,000
Ellsworth High School, $227,000
Hancock County Technical Center, $322,000
Hancock Grammar School, $365,000
Lamoine Consolidated School, $44,000
Mountain View School, $220,000
Sumner Memorial High School, $1 million