BEDFORD, N.Y. — While the Bedford Central School District’s buildings and grounds have undergone a series of wide-ranging renovations this summer, one project stands out: reducing the district’s energy costs by a minimum of $100,000 during this budget year.
To accomplish this, said Director of Buildings and Grounds Thomas Briggs, “We are exploring many options such as solar energy, lighting replacement and retrofits, energy procurement and reduction of small appliances.”
As the school year begins, energy goals will be a priority, Briggs said. The district has plans to hire an energy consultant who will study facilities for ways to save energy, a position that will be supported cooperatively with the Putnam/Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services and the Katonah-Lewisboro school district.
This summer, the district also oversaw the abatement of asbestos-containing ceiling tiles in nine classrooms, three restrooms and two smaller rooms at Pound Ridge Elementary School, and in the library, guidance area and two smaller rooms at Fox Lane High School, Briggs said.
The asbestos project incorporated further energy conservation efforts: Workers also removed the old light fixtures in these asbestos-containing areas, installing 124 new energy-efficient light fixtures at Pound Ridge Elementary and 55 at Fox Lane, which will reduce energy use in each building by 40 percent. Workers from the building department also installed occupancy sensors in these areas, which are designed to shut off the lights when the space is unoccupied.
When it comes to the grounds, Briggs said, workers are almost finished with the new practice field adjacent to the baseball field on the Fox Lane campus, except for hydro seeding it to establish grass and grading a small area to accommodate batting cages.
“This project was done as a joint venture between the Bedford Central School District and the Fox Lane Sports Booster Club,” Briggs said, as was installing additional drainage on the Fox Lane field hockey field.
The district also implemented numerous technological upgrades this summer. According to district Director of Technology David Gee, 28 SMART Boards, or digital interactive whiteboards, were installed throughout the district.
In addition, the district upgraded the middle school’s wireless network, setting up 90 new access points so that every classroom is provided with at least one.
The tech department also updated all computers districtwide, including teacher laptops, totaling about 2,500, and replaced 56 projectors with brighter, louder, more energy-efficient models.