Federal Way Public Schools headquarters. File photo

Department of Commerce awards $350K to Federal Way Public Schools for upgrades

With the funds, 18 schools will receive energy efficiency improvements.

The Washington State Department of Commerce recently awarded over $1.8 million in grants to various public agencies including Federal Way Public Schools, the City of Renton and the Department of Corrections to make energy efficiency improvements to various buildings across the state.

“Buildings are the second largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing energy efficiency to reduce energy use and costs offers a tremendous return on investment while also supporting jobs in the clean energy economy,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “It’s important that government lead by example – these projects demonstrate the significant near and long-term benefits of investing in building energy efficiency.”

Federal Way School District was awarded $350,000 for heating and cooling controls and lighting retrofits at 18 schools, which include:

• Camelot, Enterprise, Green Gables, Lake Dolloff, Rainier View, Lakeland, Mark Twain, Meredith Hill, Sherwood Forest, Silver Lakes and Twin Lakes elementary schools.

• Kilo, Lakota, Sacajawea, and TAF@Saghalie middle schools.

• Todd Beamer High School.

• Nautilus K-8 school.

These updates will improve reliability and reduce energy use in one of the most diverse school districts in the state, according to the department of commerce. By improving indoor air quality, thermal lighting and comfort, the district hopes to remove physical barriers that may inhibit learning. The work at those schools will begin this fall, according to Federal Wake Public Schools communications chief Whitney Chiang.

In the City of Renton, $267,626 is awarded for heating and cooling controls and lighting upgrades at the City Hall, aquatic center, maintenance shop and a park.

By increasing City Hall’s energy efficiency and improving lighting and reliability in other facilities, this project helps the city’s goals to save energy and reduce its carbon footprint, according to the Department of Commerce.

The awarded grants are offered through Washington’s Energy Retrofits for Public Buildings program. The goal of funding projects is to benefit communities through the reduction of energy use and costs.

Other awardees include:

  • $350,000 to Goldendale School District in Klickitat County for heat recovery and LED lighting updates to a high school and an elementary school
  • $247,861 to the town of Mabton in Yakima County for lighting and controls in elementary, middle and high schools plus the district office.
  • $350,000 to Mary Walker School District in Stevens County for a complete controls upgrade on a multi-school campus.
  • $284,756 to the Washington State Department of Corrections to upgrade plumbing and fixtures in the state penitentiary in Walla Walla.

This round of funding aligns with and advance the goals of the 2021 Washington State Energy Strategy to meet greenhouse gas emission limits while benefitting rural, urban, and vulnerable communities throughout the state. Half of the funds are awarded to small towns or cities with populations under 5,000 people.

All of the grant awards will provide economic, environmental and quality of life benefits to under-resourced communities in our state, including several highly impacted communities based on Washington’s Environmental Health Disparities Map.

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