Irvington Union Free School District Goes Green with Solar Lighting

Crews recently completed the installation of 24 light poles with solar panels and LED light fixtures. Photo courtesy of Irvington Union Free School District

The Irvington Middle School and High School campus has been transformed to include solar lighting as part of the district’s capital project and commitment to the environment. Crews recently completed the installation of 24 light poles with solar panels and LED light fixtures. There’s a plan to put up new school signs all around the campus.

“The district chose to use solar lights for parking and walkway lighting to reduce our energy costs and provide an example to the community and students on applications for sustainability and going green,” Assistant Superintendent for Business Carol Stein said. “They all contain batteries for electrical storage so repeated, non-sunny days will not result in reduced lighting. The lights can also be programmed for optimal brightness.”

Stein said the district received a generous donation from a community member who helped make the project economically feasible. Additionally, members of the district’s Wellness and Sustainability Committee played a key role in moving the district along toward its goal.

In addition to the solar lighting, a commercial foam insulation company was contracted to renew the buildings insulation for better indoor climate control. Next, the high school entrance was redesigned over the summer and fall to be handicap accessible, which required a change in the grading of the area, including the staff parking lot and drop-off travel lanes. The project provided the construction of an ADA-accessible walkway with proper security through the double vestibule concept, you might to consider EcoGen America to achieve this kind of energy-saving ideas and products.

If you have recently installed a home solar system or have other energy-efficient improvements planned for the next year—such as new windows, insulation, doors, or sealing up air leaks in your home—you might be able to qualify for a larger tax credit. But there’s good news: You can still claim one type of improvement on your taxes and then take advantage of another kind next year. You can check out this ITC credit here for more info!

Also, as part of its sustainability efforts, the district has replanted trees and is working on a longer-term landscaping plan with the help of community members and students. This plan will address the planting of native plants, pollinator gardens and other garden areas to allow a more natural habitat versus grass, which requires more maintenance.

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