When the leadership of Rockford Lutheran School was examining how they might reduce energy costs at their Junior/Senior High School buildings, they wisely turned to solar power. But, advisers suggested they focus first on an easier way to reduce electrical costs: Replacing the school’s traditional lighting incandescent and fluorescent lighting with LED’s.
Rockford Lutheran asked for quotes from several local lighting contractors and chose Thayer. “We knew Thayer as a partner from previous work,” said Becky Chewning, the school’s Finance Director, “but we chose to work with them on this project because their proposal was the most competitive and supplied the most support.”
Replacing every bulb in the 60,000 square foot facility was a daunting task, and one the school elected to take on. Each fixture would require some rewiring to accept the LED’s. Work began in earnest as soon as the 2018-2019 school year ended. Over the course of the summer, the school’s maintenance specialist and students from the engineering class managed to complete half the lighting changes. Once the 550 junior and senior high school students had returned in the fall, parents volunteering on weekends continued to keep the project moving.
The total cost of equipment was approximately $8,000, and Chewning reports they’ve already saved at least $10,000 over 12 months.
Apart from the cost, Chewning and others at Rockford Lutheran appreciate the relationship they have with Thayer.
At the beginning of the project, Thayer provided advice on “light color examples geared to education, that create a more studious environment,” Chewning said. “They carefully explained all the options available. Karl Arvidson came out several times to consult with maintenance.” Challenges Arvidson helped them solve including a power delivery system in the Junior High wing that differed from the rest of the building, and specialized lighting in the gym.
“Having local support and knowing they can pop right over to help makes for a good relationship,” Chewning said.