East Lycoming school officials accept energy efficiency award

HUGHESVILLE – Representatives from the East Lycoming School District traveled to Harrisburg Tuesday morning to receive the Moving to the Head of the Class Energy Efficiency award. The Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance Energy Education Fund recognized Hughesville junior and senior high schools for their demonstrated excellence in their progress toward energy efficiency.

The Keystone Energy Efficiency Foundation is dedicated to energy efficiency education, training and outreach. Its sister organization, the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, is a statewide trade association of 64 businesses and nonprofits advancing energy efficiency. Its business members save commercial, residential, industrial and institutional customers money by reducing building energy bills via energy audits, products and retrofit services.

Hughesville is one of four schools to receive the award. Others were Broughal Middle School, Hanover Elementary School and Spectrum Charter School. Honorable mentions were awarded to Athens Area High School and Mellon Middle School.

East Lycoming Superintendent Michael Pawlik, board President Richard Michael, director of buildings and grounds Mike McClain and Business Manager David Maciejewski, traveled to the state Capital to receive the award.

All award recipients were at the ceremony and each school was recognized and explained the changes that were made to their school to make it more energy efficient.

Hughesville Junior-Senior High School has been making the school more energy efficient since 2002. Since then, it has installed a new heating and cooling system, new insulation and roofing, light sensors, lighting retrofits, variable frequency drive pumps that help control the temperatures in the building to reduce the need for electricity and conserved energy by using fewer desktop computers and switched to iPads and other new technology.

“The buildings in their current state today are far better than they have been in the past,” Maciejewski said.

The school also was recognized for its alternative energy classes that the school offers to students to teach them ways to save energy all around. The school also offers science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses for sixth- and seventh-grade classes.

“Winning schools showed that starting to reduce energy consumption does not take drastic investment, but it does save serious money that can be put to use in the school community,” Brian Kauffman, executive director of Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance and Keystone Energy Efficiency Foundation said. “Everyone in the school community plays a key part: students, teachers, facility managers and administrators all contribute to achievements in energy efficiency in Pennsylvania.”

A team of seven judges included leaders from the United States Environmental Protections Agency, the state Department of Environmental Protection, the state Public Utility Commission, Warren Energy Engineering and Practical Energy Solutions.

“Schools achieve energy efficiency through simple steps, such as advanced heating and cooling systems, smart building controls and behavioral changes,” Kauffman said. “Combined, this saves taxpayers money to keep in their pockets and helps our schools direct their dollars toward teaching rather than energy bills.”