WBCSD lighting the way for students, staff, taxpayers

Print Article

Lighting probably isnít the first thing on our minds when we walk into a building, store, school, or even our homes. We take lit spaces in our modern world as an assumption and donít pay much attention to it. Until Ö the lights donít work, or we get that monthly power bill.

The West Bonner County School District maintains five school campuses with over 260,000 square feet of building space which have over 7,000 lights. Our school buildings operate up to 16 hours a day supporting classroom instruction, afterschool programs, and many community functions. The annual power bill for the district is $184,574, and the average age of our buildings is over 65 years old. With old lights failing and a big power bill, WBCSD administration and West Bonner County School Board recently set out a plan to do two things: Improve the quality of lighting districtwide, and cut its power bill. Here are the details.

The initial survey of lighting conditions showed that most lamps and ballasts district wide were past life cycle as they had all been replaced all at one time in 1999, then continually as needed when lamps and ballasts failed. The failure rate of these were escalating to the point that district maintenance couldnít keep up.

Also of concern was the quality of lighting in classrooms. Research shows a correlation between fluorescent light flicker and negative impacts on some persons with ADHD, epilepsy, and autism. With lighting quality poor, and the expense of having to replace lamps and ballasts a given cost that was going to happen, the district developed a plan.

With so many lights needing replacement, trying to change them on an as needed basis is expensive, so the district funded and developed a lighting renovation project to be completed over the past summer. Changing all lights and eliminating ballasts during one project reduced labor, and created bulk discounts on materials. Taking on the project using mostly district maintenance staff for lamp replacements, and contracted certified electricians for fixture replacements, the project was completed over the summer of 2018. Improved classrooms and making every dollar count is lighting the way for students, our community, and local taxpayers.

At the end of the project, here are the results.

• 96% of district lighting replaced with LED lighting in 2018

• Improved learning environment with healthier consistent lighting

• Total expense on lighting project ó $98,379.78

• Avista rebates paid to WBCSD ó $28,031.00

• Total project expense less rebates ó $70,348.78

• Energy savings (actual) July 2018 through March 2019 ó $14,668.00

• Avoided maintenance costs annually ó $6143.00

• Total annual energy and maintenance savings ó $25,110.00

• Project return on investment period ó 34 months

Ken Eldore is facilities director for the West Bonner County School District.

Print Article

Read More Columns

McCrae went where needed

May 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae from Canada. Who is he? He wrote a haunting poem in World War I still recited in Memorial Day ceremonies. It begins, ďIn Flanders Fields the poppies blow, Between th...


Read More

Resident heads off on butterfly hunt

May 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee 100 Years Ago ó 1919 As bad as mustard gas Fred Jones, who has been getting timber out at Bonners Ferry returned home last week, the mosquitoes becoming so bad the camp was forced to close down. ...


Read More

May puts attention on better hearing, speech

May 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee May being Better Hearing and Speech Month gives us the opportunity to bring awareness about disorders involving voice, speech, hearing and language. Communication disorders such as these can affect p...


Read More

Donít let stress derail fitness goals, efforts

May 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee Most of our lives are full of stress, and that can take a toll on our body and health. Long-term uncontrolled stress can cause chronic conditions like high blood pressure, headaches, ulcers and unwan...


Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2019 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy