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Southside Elementary wins energy-savings competition

SOUTHSIDE ELEMENTARY School fifth-grader Keegan Connell and Principal Jason McAllister accepted an award from the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) for winning the inaugural "Battle of the School Buildings" competition for energy efficiency. From left are KSBA Executive Director Mike Armstrong, Woodford County schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins, McAllister, Woodford County schools Energy Manager Ralph Slone, Keegan, KSBA Energy Services Coordinator Martha Casher and Woodford County Board of Education Chair Ambrose Wilson IV. Wilson, who represents Midway on the board, accepted an award given to Northside Elementary, which finished third in the "Battle of the School Buildings" competition. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

Southside Elementary School was recognized on Monday afternoon for winning the first-ever "Battle of the School Buildings" competition for energy efficiency. Southside reduced its energy consumption by nearly 25 percent from 2015 to 2016 - to finish first among 131 schools across Kentucky in a competition sponsored by the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA). "We don't win this competition without you participating (in these energy-saving efforts)," schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins told students. "And so I appreciate you. When you leave a classroom, you turn the lights off. Or you make sure that your computers are turned off when you leave for the day. All of those little things add up to you being in first place." Supported by energy-savings upgrades to lighting systems and new heating/air conditioning systems at Southside and Northside elementary schools, Woodford County had two of the top-three schools in the KSBA's statewide energy efficiency competition, Hawkins said. Northside Elementary reduced its energy consumption by 22.73 percent to finish second in the "Battle of the School Buildings" and Safe Harbor Academy earned a 10th-place finish by reducing its energy consumption by 9.55 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to information provided by KSBA. In a press release, KSBA Executive Director Mike Armstrong described Woodford County schools as one of the leaders in energy efficiency. "Through the work by Southside Elementary and district staff, the school reduced its energy consumption by 24.68 percent between 2015 and 2016," he said. "Every dollar saved by these efforts goes right back into the teaching and learning achievements in this district." The estimated cost savings at Southside Elementary was over $7,000 when comparing 2015 energy-use to 2016. Northside Elementary saved $5,000 over that same 12-month period, according to KSBA. All seven schools in the Woodford County Public Schools district and its Central Office are certified as Energy Star buildings. Northside Elementary, Southside Elementary, Safe Harbor Academy, Woodford County High School and Woodford County Middle School were recognized for being Energy Star Schools during a celebration last October.

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