After months of planning, design, and engineering efforts, the solar projects that will bring long-term stability to the school’s energy costs will begin on the main campus in October. The installation of the main campus portion of the project is scheduled to be complete in 90 days, by the end of 2011. However, it’s important to remember that construction projects often take longer than originally planned. When all the solar panels have been installed at the main campus, the construction at the high school campus will begin. Construction at the high school is expected to last four weeks. I want to plainly state that there will be inconvenience, in the form of crowded parking lots, during construction and that it will be important for staff members and parents to model patience for our students. It will help us to remember that the payoff for this short-term parking lot congestion is stable long-term energy costs. The new solar power systems will help keep our tuition lower for the next 20 years. All of us will also enjoy the additional benefit of covered parking. Here are a few basic facts about the impact on our parking lots:
• The project will begin with the removal of trees in the main campus parking lot on the first two Saturdays in October. We are working closely with Solar City to preserve as many trees as possible.
• All driveways entering and exiting our parking lots will remain open during construction.
• At both campuses, we will close one half, or less, of the parking spaces at a time during the installation of the large steel support structures and required trenching. The church portion of the main campus parking lot will not be impacted.
• The large driveway adjacent to the “Horseshoe” will remain open during construction.
• The rows of parking spaces at the south and west ends of the high school lot will not be impacted and will remain open during construction.
• Once the steel support structures and underground wiring are in place, the construction crews will only close 20-30 spaces on a daily basis while they install the solar panels.
The plans shown above allow you to see exactly what spaces are being covered and where the structures are being installed. If you have any questions about the project, please feel free to ask them here. I will respond online so that everyone can see the questions and answers.
It is important to remember that short-term parking pain is long-term stability gain and the added bonus of covered parking is a significant benefit for everyone who uses our parking lots, especially on hot or rainy days. The projects are being funded, built, owned, and maintained by Solar City. DCS receives lower cost electricity with small, predictable adjustments every year. Our power generation will put electricity into the power grid, which makes more energy available for our community. This project is good for our families, good for the school, good for the community, and good for the environment. It is a win-win-win-win.