The Springfield-Clark Career Technology School has been selected to receive a grant for more than $200,000 that will allow it to create a program teaching students how to conduct energy audits at schools across the Miami Valley.
The local career school was awarded $212,490 in funding through Ohio’s Straight A Fund, which rewards schools and districts for creating innovative reform ideas. For the current fiscal year, $100 million has been appropriated, and Springfield-Clark CTC is one of 24 winning proposals out of 570 applications, said State Rep. Ross McGregor, R-Springfield.
“Springfield-Clark CTC should be very proud of this award for its innovation,” McGregor said in a news release. “I’m pleased to know that the funding we allotted for the Straight A Fund is being put to good use, especially here in Clark County.”
The project was born when the school partnered with Tipp City-based Energy Optimizers USA to allow two students from the CTC’s HVAC and electrical trades programs to assist in an energy audit at the campus and present the findings to the school board. The company then suggested they partner again for the grant to provide the same hands-on programming at other schools, said Rick Smith, superintendent at the CTC.
“We knew it was a very competitive grant project and a very aggressive timeline and we can’t thank Energy Optimizers enough. It’s a win-win because the schools save money with the audit and the students will get a unique, hands-on project and we’re glad the state saw that,” Smith said.
The grant money will be used for transportation of students and staff for training, curriculum material for interested students K-12, and for creating “green teams” for peer-to-peer coaching with CTC students who’ve completed the audits. The program is designed to include schools anywhere in the Miami Valley that want to participate, Smith said.
Winning schools were selected based on financial sustainability, statistical analysis and input from grant advisers. The grants will be distributed in January. The state has budgeted $150 million for the second round of Straight A Fund grants next fiscal year.