We received some terrific news from the Arizona School Facilities Board late last week. Our district has been awarded $200,000 in the form of state grants to implement projects that will significantly improve our energy efficiency.
The School Facilities Board Energy Grant is part of a $2 million grant program, approved by the legislature to improve energy and water savings by school districts in Arizona. Specifically, the establishing statute defines implementation grants as a project that saves electricity, natural gas, other energy fuels or water, in a school facility built before July 1, 1999 through any of the following:
Improvements in the efficiency of energy or water use.
On-site production and use of electricity and useful thermal energy
Improvements in the operation of buildings and/or energy consuming equipment in buildings.
Working in conjunction with APS and our construction management company, PinnacleOne, the district submitted grant proposals for our eligible school sites. Payson was not alone. There were a total of 164 grant applications from districts around Arizona. A total of 30 projects were selected for funding. PUSD's submission for Payson High School received the highest score of all applications and our grant submission for Payson Elementary came in as the seventh strongest proposal. Both projects will be funded at $100, 000, the maximum received by any school in the state.
PUSD had committed to implement energy efficiency upgrades as part of our commitment to wise long-term planning. These energy grants will allow us to put additional dollars toward our facilities, which we would not have been able to do otherwise.
There was more great news for Payson Unified last week. The Payson Center for Success was notified that they were selected by the Arizona Education Foundation as an A+ School. This prestigious and highly competitive award is given to a small number of schools each year that demonstrate exemplary teaching and learning.
Also, thanks to Credit for Kids and the Tonto Community Concert Association we are nearly completed with significant upgrades to the PHS auditorium, including new house lighting, stage lighting, curtains and concert acoustical shells. These upgrades will serve our students and community well for many years to come.
We're ending the school year with many reasons to celebrate; most importantly the many successes our students have had the opportunity to experience and celebrate this school year. True to our mission statement, I believe it has been a year of uniting students, parents, staff and community in support of excellence.