On September 27, 2018, Madison, Alabama-based Legacy Elementary School announced its recognition as a Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. The school is among 46 schools, six districts and six post-secondary institutions who received recognition for innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness and ensure effective sustainability education. The school’s partnership with energy and sustainability expert, Schneider Electric, contributed to its energy efficiency initiatives.
“We are proud to be nationally recognized with the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon School award and we look forward to continue to strive for excellence in our district,” says Matt Massey, superintendent of Madison County Schools. “Our partnership with Schneider Electric amplified our ability to improve our sustainability initiatives, reduce our environmental impact and showcase our increasing commitment to energy efficiency.”
Championing change across the district
Legacy Elementary is part of a district-wide initiative with Schneider Electric that helped Madison County Schools reach its energy goals. Historically, Madison County Schools lacked sufficient funding to improve their aging facility infrastructures. By 2013, Madison County Schools had reached its bonded debt limit capacity. This, combined with the Board of Education’s already limited budget, left the district with few options.
As a result of the partnership with Schneider Electric, the district will save over $40 million over 20 years. The project was funded by an energy savings performance contract (ESPC), which uses the cost savings achieved to pay for infrastructure improvements and make transformational changes for Madison County’s schools.
The environmental impact of the project is also significant. Once completed, this project will provide energy efficiency savings equivalent to removing 317 cars from the road per year, planting 431 acres of new trees or removing over 1,583 tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Taking environmental awareness outside the classroom
Legacy Elementary is also able to provide students with an active, student-centered instructional setting that allows students to develop leadership skills by designing their own environmental sustainability lessons. The creation of Project Pond, an interactive outdoor learning environment, offers another setting where students can learn about animal and plant life as well as water quality, soil pH and more.
“We are excited for our students and the entire Legacy family,” said Keith Trawick, Principal of Legacy Elementary School. “Earning recognition from the U.S. Department of Education is the highest honor and testament to the hard work and commitment our school and community partners have made toward environmental education.”
Principal Trawick turned to Schneider Electric to deliver the complex environmental impact calculations required for the Green Ribbon application. Madison County has been working with the Schneider Electric’s Performance Assurance Support Services (PASS) team over the years to sustain the energy savings and environmental impact of the district-wide project. The local PASS team was able to easily show Legacy Elementary’s continued commitment to energy reduction and awareness.
Enabling the future
The project is one of Schneider Electric’s many partnerships on energy efficiency projects in Alabama, having implemented over $270 million in energy efficiency projects for more than 40 clients and helping public entities secure over $60 million in energy-related grants and rebates.
Over the past 25 years, Schneider Electric has successfully implemented more than 675 ESPC projects across the nation, saving its clients nearly $2 billion. This project delivery method helps publicly funded entities make capital improvements over longer payback periods and offers many long-term benefits such as improved facility efficiency, occupant comfort, financial management and environmental protection.
Learn more about achieving top priorities through energy efficiency projects with Schneider Electric.