Glenville elementary school in Greenwich, Conn., had been living for almost 30 years with a noisy open-plan design and a lack of natural light and fresh air, problems that put it high on the school board’s list for renovation.
Planners also hoped to demonstrate energy conservation and efficiency by tapping the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund to help finance a roof-mounted solar system for the school. That program proved so popular that it ran out of funds, so Glenville’s solar plan was put on hold, says Tyler Tregellas, project executive in the Milford, Conn., office of Turner Construction, construction manager for the job. But energy retrofit block grants from the Dept. of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allowed the town to bring the idea back to life. The school received $650,000 in ARA funding for the $909,000 solar system. The system will have an energy capacity of 97.5 kw and should save the school about $18,000 on electricity in the first year—potentially more as rates increase in the future.