What if you could revolutionize your school district’s facilities while reducing utility usage by more than 20 percent, saving nearly $150,000 each year? Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Just ask Scurry-Rosser Independent School District in Texas.
This three-school district on the outskirts of Dallas was overdue for renovations and upgrades. The administrators and school board wanted to update school facilities to provide their students with everything kids in larger districts get. The challenge? They wanted big-ticket upgrades on a small-town budget.
Creative Funding Solutions
Scurry-Rosser’s long-term goal was to make the district’s schools more energy efficient while reinvigorating community investment. They also wanted to put a stronger emphasis on safety—a critical need for today’s students.
Scurry-Rosser decided to partner with Schneider Electric to update school facilities. Together they devised a creative funding plan that lowered utility bills, reduced maintenance costs, and created better facilities performance. Without raising public taxes, the district was able to upgrade safety and security, increase classroom comfort, and modernize aging district facilities while saving an average of $149,000 per year. But how?
First, they devised a creative strategy to fund and implement an expansive set of projects, including:
- Upgraded security vestibules at all school entrances. along with modern camera systems
- Installation of a state-of-the-art artificial turf athletic field and surrounding track
- Improved domestic water efficiency
- Enhanced outdoor and indoor LED lights
- Updated electrical infrastructure
- Optimized HVAC systems for sustainability
- Customized technology systems and building-wide automation
Many of these upgrades, in turn, saved the district money as well as resources. For example, the new turf field no longer required sprinklers to run year-round.
New School Safety Standards
Perhaps the most important outcome of this district-wide innovation was the security upgrades, which align with the recently passed Texas SB11. This bill requires that schools be up to date on best practices for using technology to address safety and promote mental health in public schools.
The list of security upgrades included modern cameras, security vestibules at school entrances, and upgraded LED technology for indoor and outdoor lights.
Christian Reed, the principal at Gary Rosser High School, says it’s only when security is addressed that students can dive deeply into academics, the ultimate goal of education.
Energy and Cost Savings
Between Scurry-Rosser’s new HVAC systems, LED light bulb replacements, and upgraded climate-controlled sports facilities, the district is on track to reduce utility usage by 21 percent. Administrators knew that their investment would pay off, and they now confidently expect an annual savings of $149,000. With high-quality technology optimized for efficiency, the district is guaranteed these savings for the lifetime of the project.
School Culture and Community Support
These renovations and upgrades also had a positive impact on school culture and community support.
Staff, students, and parents now have a stronger sense of safety within the schools. Scurry-Rosser’s upgrades ensure that students, teachers, and administrators can learn and work inside safely monitored buildings and on well-illuminated grounds.
Beyond security, the new artificial turf at the high school football field and the district-wide upgraded sports facilities encourage a healthy environment. Inside the new climate-controlled athletic facilities, students comfortably exercise year-round—even during the extreme Texas heat.
Scurry-Rosser’s new additions have also revived the community. “The community does centralize around school,” says School Board President Joanna Horton. “People are proud to be part of it.”
Most notably, the new athletic facilities have transformed the district into a regional hub of revenue-generating events, with the capacity to host sports tourism games, matches, competitions, and more.
Scurry-Rosser’s project not only had major benefits for the district but also for the environment, equivalent to one of the following:
- Removing 2,120 cars from the road
- Planting 2,880 acres of new trees
- Removing 10,560 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
And the impact only begins there.
Does Your District Need to Update School Facilities?
Find out how your school or district can upgrade facilities, make energy-efficient changes, boost student engagement, improve learning outcomes, and lower utility costs. Schneider Electric partners with schools across the country to find creative solutions to fund their district’s goals . Click the orange button below to learn more.