Nestled in the remote foothills between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, Pollock Pines Elementary School District is focused on promoting the wellbeing and achievement of its students through high-quality education. Like many other school districts across the state, however, Pollock Pines faces challenges to its mission: wildfires and public safety power shutoffs (PSPS), COVID-19 and waning budgets, failing infrastructure and rising utility costs.
“This is a pivotal time for the Pollock Pines Elementary School District as we develop strategies for best serving our students and staff moving forward,” said Pat Atkins, superintendent at Pollock Pines Elementary School District.
Pollock Pines recently announced a new energy efficiency program that works within its constraints while tackling the challenges on its plate head on. Atkins continued: “We have an opportunity now to think innovatively and invest in infrastructure modernizations that overcome current challenges while increasing the district’s long-term viability–so we took it. We will not have to close school due to power outages again!”
To pay for the critical infrastructure modernizations and add resiliency measures to campuses ranging from 33 to 60 years old, the district creatively sourced funding from California Prop. 51, utility incentives and 0% interest financing from Pacific, Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). The funding plan covers the cost of the $2.6 million program, which is projected to provide more than $3.8 million in positive cash flow back to the district for student programs.
Pollock Pines partnered with Climatec on the upgrades, which include new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units and controls, portable HEPA air filters, LED lighting, a new surveillance system, solar systems and backup power to all campuses.
While the HVAC units improve indoor air quality (IAQ) in classrooms and facilities, the portable HEPA air filters tackle areas that attract more traffic. Both reduce the chances of typical flu and cold viruses as well as COVID-19 from transmitting on school grounds. The LED lighting and new surveillance system enhance security on campus, making students and staff alike feel better about being on campus day or night. Lastly, the new solar panels and backup power are resiliency measures that will keep Pollock Pines’ schools open regardless of any PSPS event or weather condition.
“Pollock Pines’ infrastructure modernization program is a terrific solution to the challenges we have been facing,” Superintendent Atkins said. “Along with vastly improving our aging infrastructure comes a host of benefits, such as making our district more environmentally friendly and protecting critical district funds for the best possible education students can have.”
About Pollock Pines Elementary School District
Pollock Pines Elementary School District is located in El Dorado County, 50 miles east of Sacramento and 45 miles west of Lake Tahoe. The School District serves approximately 600 students across its two schools. The district is committed to the wellbeing and achievement of its students through high quality academic curriculum, long-term financial stability, up-to-date systems and software that support its instructional program, clean and safe facilities and strong community involvement.
Founded in 1975, Climatec is a leading provider of turnkey implementation and funding solutions for public agencies looking to remedy aging infrastructure. Serving building owners across all public sector market segments including education, state, and local government, Climatec specializes in energy, water and operational improvements that provide significant relief for the bottom line while making buildings smarter, safer and more efficient. Visit Climatec.com for more information.