School switches to LED lighting

With remodeling of the former Bismarck High School office into a school nurse/counseling suite set to end in the near future, the final project of the April bond issue-financed reconstruction project will soon add new, brighter and more energy efficient LED lighting to both the interior and exterior of the campus.

Voters overwhelmingly approved the no-tax-increase bond issue in the April election and work began in earnest over the summer months.

After decades spent in the same location, last month the administration of Bismarck High School began the move into its new quarters at the recently completed security-enforced entrance of the school — all part of the school’s renovation project paid for by a no-tax-increase bond issue.

While much of the work was completed prior to the start of school in August, there were a number of areas — including the high school security entrance and offices, as well as the high school and elementary school libraries, band room and science lab — that remained works in progress.

During the September meeting, Superintendent Jason King provided an update on the last remaining projects and explained how much of a difference the new lighting will mean to the school.

“Work’s well underway in the new nurses’ area,” he said. “The brick work has been completed, doors have been framed up. The plumbing has now been roughed in. The next step will be the walls and they’re being framed up. We’re looking at two-and-a-half weeks to being really close to being 100 percent complete and moving in by that time.

“We really wanted to get the main portion of the bond issue work completed before we started work on the lighting project. That is scheduled to begin on Oct. 16, and as part of that project, we’re going to have new LED lighting throughout our district. It will be every light in the district except for the ballfield lights. It will include the parking lights and everything.”

According to King, the energy savings of the new lighting is projected to be about $24,000 per year. He spoke briefly about covering the cost of the project to the board of education Monday night.

“We’re doing this in conjunction with the Department of Economic Development,” he said. “The studies they’ve done over a five-year period estimate that the $24,000 per year savings will be equal to what our payment is going to be on the money to get this done. So, essentially what happens is, we budget as a district the same amount we’ve budgeted for electric and it pays for itself.”

“It’s a great deal for the district. Our hallways are going to be much brighter. Our classrooms will be much brighter. The whole area is going to be a brighter situation. If you’ve had a chance to be in our new high school office, you’ve seen what those lights can do and how the brightness changes things when you were in there, so it’s going to be an exciting thing for us as we move forward.”