Northwest Local School District has started the process of installing solar panels this week as well as receiving a Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) grant to purchase equipment designed to substantially reduce or eliminate workplace injuries and illnesses.
TMI Electrical Solutions were to break ground on Monday to start the installation of the Solar PV Arrays at Northwest Local Schools in McDermott, however, it has been a slow moving process, due to the wet weather. Both TMI and Todd Jenkins, Superintendent of Northwest Local Schools say they hope the project will be finished by the end of the year.
Jenkins said they originally started the project four years ago and are now beginning to see it come to fruition. When asked what this will do for the Northwest Local Schools, Jenkins said, “Number one, we will be going green, two, being good stewards of the community’s money, which it helps reduce our actual cost of electrical utilities; three, it provides battery backup. We will have a battery backup system, if the electric is out, we can utilize the solar through the day, but then at night time, we can use the batteries. It allows us, if we have to, to open it up to the community if disaster or whatever occur.”
The DC capacity for the arrays for the panels listed here: Elementary School: 428 kW, Middle School: 321 kW, and High School: 470 kW.
Jenkins continued speaking about the solar panels, “The process has been taking a little longer than we anticipated, so I think we were just excited to get the things up and going.”
As if that is not exciting enough, the district was notified about a grant from the BWC. On the website for the BWC, it states that Ohio employers receive 1.1 million in workplace safety grants and the Northwest Local School District is to receive $34,252.15 of that money.
Jenkins said that this money is to be used for safety equipment that will help the district employees. “It will be utilized, each building will get certain items and we’ll have items that will be used down at the bus garage or at the maintenance building as well, or buildings and grounds. Other of the equipment will be used throughout the district as they are needed.”
Listed on the BWC website are the items Northwest are to purchase and about the district: Northwest Local School District – $34,253.15 to purchase five crank dump dollies, three lite load lifts, three hand trucks, three appliance trucks with 4th wheel attachment, two rolling ladders, two fold away elevators, two scissor lifts, and one break drum dolly. These items will reduce the risk of injury to hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, back, and legs related to hand force, awkward postures, push/pull of moderate to heavy load, manual material handling, and manual material handling frequency. Northwest Local School District serves 1,632 students. The district encompasses 187 square miles.
Part of the main reason for this grant is to help with lifting and safety for the employees within the Northwest Local School District and Jenkins that a lot of this grant will be more for the custodial and maintenance usage, and bus garage usage.
Jenkins said they have not purchased the equipment as of yet. Once they receive the grant then they can begin the process of ordering this safety equipment. Jenkins said that they hope to get the grant money in the next two weeks and then they can get thing moving on the purchase of the equipment.
When asked if they were excited about getting the grant, Jenkins said, “Absolutely, it’s a good deal for us.”
Receiving these two things, solar panels and the safety grant, and preparing to build the new athletic complex are all exciting and welcome in the Northwest Local School District.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928