Longwood Energy, Maintenance and Technology Bond Passes 2 to 1

MIDDLE ISLAND Voters in the Longwood School District have supported the district’s plan for a $27,283,000 investment in energy conservation, maintenance and technology. The proposition passed 784 “Yes” votes, to 331 “No” votes on Mar. 6. No impact on the tax rate is anticipated.

“This is an important project that will help the district to substantially reduce energy costs while addressing several critical maintenance issues,” Longwood Superintendent Allan Gerstenlauer said.

Nearly half of the plan, $13.1 million, will be utilized to save energy costs. It includes the installation of heat and power cogeneration systems at Longwood Middle School and Longwood High School. Those measures will save the district more than $1 million annually in energy costs.

Other projects include solar panels at Longwood High School, energy efficient light, light sensors, a computer-controlled energy management system, and window replacements at Longwood Junior High School and Longwood Middle School.

Work will begin this summer with the replacement of a roof on the Longwood Middle School. Plans call for roof replacements at all of the district’s four elementary schools.

The technology portion of the bond supports the replacement of 2,700 computers, seven servers in each of the district’s schools, computer monitors and printers in computer labs.

“This plan will enable us to replace outdated instructional technology, and the upgrades to the high school track and field will serve to expand opportunities for more children to use that facility,” Dr. Gerstenlauer said.

Included among the other maintenance projects are the replacement of the track at Longwood High School with a multi-sport, synthetic field to serve football, soccer and lacrosse. It will be available for use by community organizations. There are also funds to replace the carpet at the Longwood Middle School, as well as the public address system and the elevator cab at the high school. The outdoor lighting at Longwood Junior High School will be improved.

Work will be staggered over a period of years to take advantage of the return on the investment in energy, which will save the district more than $1 million annually. Low interest rates and a 67% return of State Building Aid will combine to offset costs. The project will be launched using the voter approved $4 million in capital reserves.

“This is a great benefit to the community and to our students, and on their behalf I thank the community for its support,” Dr. Gerstenlauer added.