Energy savings help finance new HS gym floor

Just one month worth of energy savings in the Muskego-Norway (WI) schools were nearly enough to pay for a new floor in the Salentine gym at Muskego High School.

“We had a very good year of energy savings,” said Jeremiah Johnson, supervisor of buildings and grounds.

The project cost about $30,000, he said. Natural gas prices were extremely low and the warm winter was easy on the heating budget, too, officials said. Also, the schools are going to LED lighting to keep electric bills down.

All that added up to be nearly enough for the new floor, with the help of the boys and girls junior warriors athletic program, which each contributed $3,000 toward the project.

Luck and smarts

“Conditions were positive this year for the district to reallocate funds from our energy budget to support this project,” said Superintendent Kelly Thompson. She applauded the heads-up play by the buildings and grounds department that it makes possible to do more with the same dollars.

“We are fortunate to have a fabulous team that works each year to address projects identified in our 10-year capital plan utilizing our current operating budget,” Thompson said.

The LED lighting generated a 33 percent reduction in electrical costs, Johnson said. The LED lights have come significantly down in price and the custodial maintenance team is retrofitting fixtures. For every LED bulb installed, the schools save about 100 watts, he said.

“We have also received Focus on Energy rebates for almost every bulb we put in,” he said. Lakeview Elementary School is first in the district to be 100 percent LED, he said.

Muskego first in state

Muskego High is the first school in the state to have transitional colored sidelines, Johnson said. The sidelines transition from black to red and have “Home of The Warriors” emblazoned on each side, he said. “A team of coaches, our high school supervisor, Tim Gorecki, and our athletic director, Scott Kugi, searched images statewide and nationwide to put together our design,” Johnson said. Another feature of the new court is that it brings back the Muskego High School logo to center court. An extra finishing coat will be applied before basketball season this fall that will give it an extra pop, Johnson said. To protect the new floor, the school has ordered permanent chair footy covers for use during graduations.

The gym floor was three years overdue for replacement and the energy savings made the project more of a slam dunk.

“Conditions were positive this year for the district to reallocate funds from our energy budget to support this project.” Kelly Thompson superintendent of schools.- by Jane Ford-Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel