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Hoke County Schools receives $6.2 million in energy saving upgrades

posted Aug 27, 2015, 11:29 AM by JODIE BRYANT

Students in Hoke County returned to school Monday after millions of dollars in building upgrades were made.

Officials said it’s guaranteed to make teaching and learning easier and more effective.

“It’s gonna be cool to be in school at Sandy Grove Elementary this year,” said Tonya Caulder, principal of the school.

Cool as in temperature. Sand Grove is among four schools in Hoke County to get facility upgrades, including new chillers. The previous units were either outdated or not working at all.

“It would get a little warm in our classrooms, we had fans brought in to make sure our students were comfortable,” Hoke County Schools Director of Public Relations Jodie Bryant said.

Twelve other campuses in Hoke County are receiving updates too, such as advanced environmental controls, weatherization improvements and state-of-the-art LED lighting.

“If you’re hot then you can’t think or you can’t concentrate, the lighting and all the other improvements are just gonna improve that student achievement,” Caulder said.

Also new to the district are tankless water fountains. Teachers said the cooling fans from the previous fountains would be so loud you could hear the vibration in the classroom.

The $6.2 million upgrades were made possible through a utility savings plan and performance contract. It guarantees the utility savings will be more than the cost in upgrades.

“We wanted to stay away from cutting money from other areas, we wanted to stay away from asking tax payers to give us more money for these upgrades so the energy performance grant was the perfect choice,” said Bryant.

The improvements are also in line with the district’s theme this year – Team Hoke – which speaks to collaboration in every area.

“[Team Hoke] encourag[es] our parents and our community that they’re part of a team, and with that, we only have one goal – to make sure students are college and career ready,” Bryant said.