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USD 411 accepts $73,000 solar project grant

Staff writer

USD 411 board of education voted Monday to accept a $73,000 Solar Voltaic grant that will fund the implementation of Westar Energy’s Solar Photovoltaic Project in the district.

The grant includes 40 solar panels that convert sunlight into electrical energy.

Ben Postlethwait of Westar Energy and Mark Horst of King spoke to the board about particulars of the project.

“Everything should be finished by late February or early March,” Superintendent John Fast said. “Panels will be installed on the ground east of the

elementary school, so people will be able to get up close.”

Most staff members would have access to software that monitors the panels’ energy output, Fast said. The software is meant to help students grasp how solar energy is collected and converted to electrical energy.

He said each panel’s rugged exterior is supposed to be able to resist blows from hailstones up to three inches in diameter.

Fast estimated would save the district $100 to $200 a month once installed.

The board also accepted a $1,200 donation from Cooperative Grain and Supply.

Fast said Land O’Lakes matched a $600 donation that Cooperative Grain and Supply made to reach the $1,200 sum.

“Half the money will be used to purchase veterinary kits for ag education,” he said. “The kits will help students learn the basics of veterinary science.”

The other half will go to pay Pam Abrams, coordinator for USD 411’s gardening program, for her time and service.

In other business:

  • The board approved Lacie Hill as sub-bus driver and temporary custodian.
  • After discussion on countywide revitalization, Fast said the board reached a general consensus of support for the plan. He said the board feels like the program would be helpful.

Last modified Oct. 15, 2015

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