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Salt Lake City School District Leaps Toward Carbon Neutrality
District celebrates the completion of phase one of the Sustainability Action Plan delivering a 30% annual carbon reduction.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – On October 12, 2022, McKinstry gathered alongside Salt Lake City School District (SLCSD) students, staff and local officials at Whittier Elementary to celebrate the completion of phase one of the district’s Sustainability Action Plan, a district-wide initiative to reach clean, renewable electricity by 2030 and overall carbon neutrality by 2040. The celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony included remarks from Paul Schulte, the district’s executive director of Auxiliary Services and SLCSD Board President Melissa Ford. In addition to an onsite tour, McKinstry teams facilitated a symbolic crane pick to install the final solar panel atop the Whittier Elementary solar installation, one of six across the entire district.
Executive Director of Auxiliary Services Paul Schulte, shared, “We’ve emphasized the savings and the decrease in carbon footprint by 44,000 metric tons but it is very important to highlight not just the sustainability efforts but more importantly, the impact this project has on instruction and the capacity for teachers to adjust the lighting in a way that best facilitates increased learning.”
The district’s Sustainability Action Plan came to fruition through the environmental advocacy of several high school students from across the district in 2020. Following the creation of a task force, the Sustainability Action Plan was quickly set into motion. The district’s urgency to reach carbon neutrality and positively impact the built environment is shared by McKinstry in our Action for Impact efforts.
The project was funded through an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), a cost-neutral solution for the school district to achieve optimal learning environments for their students and plan for resilient and sustainable operations.
McKinstry applauds the district’s carbon reduction efforts and celebrates the elevation of student voices with its Sustainability Action Plan project. McKinstry is honored to assist the district in transforming its learning spaces into healthy, productive environments for students and staff.
The initial project efforts, including LED retrofits at all 41 district buildings, 1MW of solar power installations at six schools and the implementation of powerED programs across the entire district, signify a big leap forward for the district in meeting its 2040 goal.
The completed project will yield a 30% reduction in carbon emissions, $1.3 million in utility costs savings and a water consumption reduction of 11 million gallons each year.
With two remaining electrification projects, phase one of the Sustainability Action Plan is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023.
About Salt Lake City School District
The Salt Lake City School District serves a general population projected to be approximately 189,899 citizens spread over an area of 110 square miles. The district currently consists of 40 schools: three high schools, one blended learning high school, and one alternative high school (grades 9-12); four middle schools (grades 7-8) and one middle school (grades 6-8); one K-8 school; 26 elementary schools (grades K-5 and K-6); and three district-sponsored charter schools. In addition, the district operates several alternative programs: a community education department; adult education; and more.
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