More than 7,000 students’ classrooms grow brighter as DPS adds high quality, energy-efficient LED lighting to 11 school buildings

District to enhance learning and realize hundreds of thousands in annual savings: 60% reduction in classroom lighting energy utilization and the elimination of maintenance cost.

Detroit Public Schools is adding new, energy-efficient LED lighting to 11 school buildings, which will not only provide a cost-savings to the district but will enhance the educational environment for more than 7,000 students by making classrooms brighter.

“The key benefit to the project is improvement in our classrooms, where teachers and students will spend their academic day in brighter settings that are more conducive to learning and academic achievement,” said DPS Emergency Manager Jack Martin. “The LED technology also utilizes approximately 60% less electricity, lasts more than twice as long as our previous lighting and comes with a 10-year warranty, which will save the district in operational dollars, a key goal.”

The district is installing 15- and 40-watt LED lamps lasting up to 50,000 hours, versus 40- and 80-watt fluorescent lamps that last only up to 20,000 hours. The higher LED light quality and lumen output of each lamp reduces the number of lamps required in many classrooms. The combined benefits will result in a more than 60% reduction in classroom lighting cost and energy utilization, and positively impact the learning environment. In addition, the 10-year warranty eliminates maintenance costs, allowing facility management resources to be redirected to other critical building areas.

Additional benefits of the new LED lighting cited in an assessment include heightened alertness and improved cognitive performance, better visibility, elevated moods and positive health effects, such as removing exposure to UV emissions and exposure to mercury that are present in other lighting systems.

“Learning in the classrooms at Mason is so much better with the new lighting,” said Omega Mostyn, Mason Elementary-Middle School Principal. “Bright lights generate positive emotions and motivate students to concentrate. Ultimately, a positive conducive, learning environment has a high impact on student achievement, especially when partnered with other positive learning supports. The bright lights truly make a difference in our classrooms.”

Under the direction of Chief Strategy Officer Roderick Brown, a collaborative team made up of key departments, including the Office of Energy and Sustainability and Plante Moran Cresa, identified the opportunity to utilize tax credits available as part of the improvement work completed for the $500.5 million 2009 Bond Program. The district received $847,000 in 2013 for IRS Tax Credits for the projects completed, and DPS utilized $153,000 in credits to have SHW Group provide an assessment for 11 DPS facilities in early 2014. Tooles Contracting Group later was awarded the $1.2 million lighting upgrade project through a competitive bidding process.

The work, which began in August 2014, is expected to be completed this month.

The schools to receive the new lighting are:

  • Carstens Elementary-Middle at Remus Robinson
  • Spain Elementary-Middle School
  • Davis Aerospace Technical High School at Golightly
  • Burton International Academy
  • Dixon Educational Learning Academy
  • Mason Elementary-Middle School
  • Pulaski Elementary-Middle School
  • Mark Twain School for Scholars
  • Nichols Elementary-Middle School
  • Bow Elementary-Middle School
  • Harms Elementary School
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