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 Ramona School District Moves to Address Infrastructure Needs

On a unanimous vote, the Ramona Unified School District (RUSD) School Board has approved a program that will deliver new infrastructure and savings to the district. The energy conservation programs, to be implemented by Climatec LLC, will result in high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment, new windows, LED lighting, and districtwide solar installations that will allow the district to convert 95% of its energy needs to clean, renewable sources. The program is projected to save over $34 million over new equipment’s useful life and help contain the encroachment of rising utility costs on the district’s general fund.

“Our school board is committed to both great teaching in the classroom and providing a quality learning environment. The program we are implementing with Climatec will generate significant building upgrades at every campus while saving us money in the long run,” said Dr. Anne Staffieri, superintendent of Ramona Unified School District. “We are also setting an example for our kids by being energy efficient and implementing a renewable energy source with solar arrays at every campus.”

The $12.3 million project includes the following elements:

  • Solar shade structures at Barnett Elementary, Hanson Elementary, James Duke Elementary, Ramona Community Campus, Mt. Woodson Elementary, Olive Peirce Middle School, Ramona Elementary, and Ramona High School.
  • A newly paved parking lot at Ramona High School to replace the severely failing pavement.
  • New dual-pane windows at Ramona Elementary School
  • New HVAC cooling equipment at James Duke Elementary, Montecito Alternative Continuation High School, Olive Peirce Middle School, Ramona Elementary, Ramona High School, and the district office.
  • New energy efficient LED lighting at Barnett Elementary, Hanson Elementary, James Duke Elementary, Ramona Community Campus, Mt. Woodson Elementary, Montecito Alternative Continuation High School, Olive Peirce Middle School, Ramona Elementary, Ramona High School, and the district office.

“Our mission as a board is to turn over every rock and find every advantage we can to help our District and kids succeed. The approach we are taking here is going to make improvements across our campuses while not taking a penny away from classroom programming,” said Ramona School Board President Dawn Perfect.

Between the energy savings and power generation from the solar arrays, the reduced greenhouse gas emissions yielded by the program is the equivalent of taking 430 cars off the roads of California, planting or powering 307 American homes every year. With fluctuating energy markets and increased State mandates to use renewables and time sensitive peak use rates, the implementation of the program could not come at a better time. The project construction is scheduled to start June 2019 and will be complete in 12-18 months.

“This project is a huge win for the Ramona community and the learning environment of RUSD schools. It’s exciting to help the District implement its vision for sustainability and improved school facilities,” said Ashley Cascio, Climatec’s director for Public Sector. “Climatec is proud to be a partner with RUSD and looks forward to commencing construction this summer.”