DPS and partners will also hold dozens of Green Living parent workshops, unveil a new Healthy Recipes Cookbook and challenge staff and students to demonstrate healthy living and green lifestyles through a variety of contests
As part of the second annual “Green Weeks” in Detroit Public Schools, the district today is announcing that it is utilizing $150,000 of up to $1.8 million in energy tax credits to plan and design energy efficiency projects at 10 schools. This will in turn help reduce operating costs at those buildings and vastly improve the learning environments for thousands of students through superior lighting, improved thermal comfort and better air quality. Additional schools will be targeted for energy efficiency assessments and upgrades with the remaining tax credits.
The projects will include swapping of incandescent and florescent lighting with LED lighting and replacing of older, inefficient boilers with modern, efficient digitally-controlled equipment.
“These tax credits translate into real dollars that partnering companies are using to design high-quality, sustainable educational environments for our students. Building upgrades will result in lower annual operating costs and environmental impacts. Upgrades will include new thermal comfort systems, better indoor air quality equipment, energy-efficient lighting and more effective control systems that create an academic environment conducive to student teaching and learning,” said Roderick Brown, Chief Strategy Officer and former Executive Director for the 2009 Bond Project.
As a tax-exempt entity, DPS can allocate credits and rebates to design and construction firms involved in the 1994 and 2009 bond program for consideration to offset future professional fees and costs related to capital improvements. DPS is eligible for up to $1.8 million in tax credits and energy rebates as part of the IRS Section 179D and other efficiency improvement programs for capital improvements made between 2005 and 2013.
The schools expected to receive energy-efficiency improvements are Bates Academy, Bow Elementary-Middle School, Burton International Academy, Carstens Elementary-Middle School, Dixon Educational Learning Academy, Harms Elementary School, Mason Elementary-Middle School, Nichols Elementary-Middle School, Pulaski Elementary-Middle School, and Spain Elementary-Middle School.
Today’s announcement of the energy tax credits initiative is among a host of events occurring during Green Weeks at DPS: April 14 – April 25. This year’s Green Weeks highlights include:
- The first-ever Rainbow Plate Challenge – This initiative by the Office of School Nutrition and the Office of Science challenges students and staff to eat healthy fruits and vegetables representing all colors of the rainbow.
- The first-ever DPS Healthy Recipe Book – The Office of School Nutrition will release a cookbook of healthy recipes compiled by 50 DPS students and staff.
- Green Weeks Photo Contest – Staff and students will be asked to submit photos of themselves “going green” and compete for prizes by submitting them to the DPS Go Green Team and on Facebook.
- Green Parent Workshops – Hosted at the Parent Resource Centers in partnership with the Detroit Public Schools Office of Science and the Office of Energy Management, a variety of partners and agencies will offer an array of topics including Home Energy Savings; Recycling and Composting; and Healthy Cooking. Parents will be able to participate in make-and-take activities with their children.
- Green Living Science will host “Fun Recycling Activities!” with make-and-takes that include T-Shirt Bags, Bird Feeders, and Plarn, a type of yarn made from recycled materials.
- Greening of Detroit will host “Taste the Rainbow: Food Sampling & Fun” with make-and-takes such as a Rainbow Plate, Recipe Cards, and a Rainbow Smoothie.
- 2nd Attention Strategies will host “Cool Composting & Cooking!” with make-and-takes that include how to build a Solar Cooker to use at home, how to create an Indoor Garden and how to build an Energy Savings Device.
- EcoWorks and THAW are partnering for an “Energy Saving Workshop.” EcoWorks will teach low and no-cost ways to lower a home energy bill and provide free materials to help participants save energy at home. THAW will be available for billing assistance.
- DPS Go Green Challenge – In conjunction with the DPS Office of Energy and Sustainability and partnering agency EcoWorks, schools again will participate in Detroit Public Schools’ (DPS) “Go Green” Challenge, which was established in 2012 as a call to action for all schools in the district to become more green and sustainable. The DPS Go Green Challenge focuses on four areas of impact: energy and water conservation; recycling and resource management; gardening and nutrition; and innovation.
- Schools again are engaging in DPS Go Green Projects and Contests – and creating ways to celebrate going green at each school.
- Last school year, DPS Go Green schools saved $395,000 in energy costs – earning those 34 schools $30,000 in incentive awards.
- Adding to “Green” success, 23 schools and 10,000 students also started recycling, and 17 energy-saving parent workshops were held. In addition, DPS schools completed over 100 green projects at schools – from planting gardens, to energy audits, and many more.
- This year schools have already completed over 200 DPS Go Green Projects.
Green Weeks activities will contribute to the DPS Go Green Challenge which last year saved the district $390,000 in utility costs through conservation and efficiency. Results of the challenge will be celebrated at the DPS Go Green Challenge Award Ceremony, Wednesday, May 21, when the district will be awarding $25,000 in incentive prizes to the leaders in the energy and water savings, recycling, and healthy eating challenges.
DPS also is demonstrating its commitment to quality, healthy and sustainable learning environments through its ongoing LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification pursuits as part of the 2009 Bond Program. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects must satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification.
DPS Projects Certified to date:
Martin Luther King, Jr. High School Addition Certified Gold
Gompers Elementary-Middle School Certified Silver
Earhart Elementary-Middle School Certified Silver
DPS Projects in Process of Certification:
East English Village Prep Academy Final Application – Anticipated Gold
Mackenzie Elementary-Middle School Final Application – Anticipated Silver
Munger Elementary-Middle School Final Review – Anticipated Gold
Diann Banks-Williamson Education Center Preliminary Application – Anticipated Gold