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School District Embarks on Modernization Project

Santa Paula Unified School District Leverages Prop 39 Funding to Embark on District-Wide Modernization Project with Schneider Electric

  • The energy efficiency project will generate nearly $4 million in energy savings over the life of the project

Santa Paula, Calif. – July 10, 2017 – The Santa Paula Unified School District (USD) along with Schneider Electric, the global energy, and sustainability specialist, today announced it has embarked on a $4 million, district-wide modernization project that will dramatically improve the learning environment for students and advance the district’s mission of providing safe, attractive schools. The project leverages funding secured through the Proposition 39 Clean Energy Jobs Act (Prop 39) and will encompass a variety of energy conservation measures that will generate nearly $4 million in energy savings over the life of the project.

Santa Paula USD had ambitious goals to maximize the Prop 39 funding opportunity, replace antiquated equipment, and alleviate deferred maintenance needs while simultaneously juggling the planning and construction of its bond projects. To address these challenges, the district selected Schneider Electric as its energy management partner to secure Santa Paula USD’s Prop 39 funding and develop a plan to implement the funding to its fullest extent. After securing $1.1 million in Prop 39 grant funding, the school district kicked in $2.7 million to undertake a comprehensive project that will make the biggest impact on students, faculty, and staff.

“The Prop 39 initiative provided a perfect opportunity for the Santa Paula USD to tackle some of our most critical facility priorities without burdening our budget or borrowing capacity,” said Donna Rose, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services Division, Santa Paula USD. “We are extremely happy to partner with an energy expert like Schneider Electric to prepare our facilities for the future and ensure optimal learning environments for our students and teachers for generations to come.”

Following a comprehensive facility energy audit, Schneider Electric identified a number of energy efficiency measures to implement including:

  • Exterior and gym LED lighting upgrades to improve the safety of facilities and reduce maintenance
  • Installation of a district-wide building automation system to track facility operations from any location and prevent heating and cooling issues
  • Replacement of antiquated heat pumps to improve efficiency and comfort

The modernization project is being funded by an energy savings performance contract (ESPC), where utility and operational savings are used to offset the renovations with no burden on local taxpayers. Construction is underway and is expected to be complete by fall 2017.

“Prop 39 remains an important funding source for school districts throughout California to make significant facility improvements that let students maximize their full potential,” said Kathleen Neff, CA K-12 account executive, Schneider Electric. “We’re proud to help the Santa Paula USD accomplish its modernization goals in a fiscally responsible way by aligning with the overall mission of the district and vision of its leaders to make the most of their funding.”

This project builds on Schneider Electric’s expertise in advancing school districts’ goals with Prop 39 projects in California. In addition to the work underway at Santa Paula USD, Schneider Electric has completed similar projects with districts including Capistrano Unified School District, San Marcos Unified School District, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Bear Valley Unified School District, and more. Across the state of California, Schneider Electric has helped school districts secure more than $48 million in Prop 39 grants over the past four years.

Over the past 23 years, Schneider Electric has successfully implemented more than 660 ESPC projects across the nation, saving its clients $1.7 billion. This project delivery method helps publicly funded entities make capital improvements over longer payback periods and offers many long-term benefits including improved facility efficiency, occupant comfort, financial management, and environmental protection.