Monday, June 25, 2012

Bond Passage Puts Solar Power, Other Upgrades On The Fast Track

Solar power will go online at most Lincoln Unified School District facilities as soon as one year from now, and other improvements are on the way, too, following voter approval Tuesday of the district's $48.5 million Measure A bond.

Measure A was approved by a margin of 4,175 to 2,885 Tuesday, receiving support from 59 percent of those who voted. It needed 55 percent approval to pass; it had 292 votes to spare.

"It is our intent for a significant portion of our solar energy production to be online by the summer of 2013," Superintendent Tom Uslan said.

Officials have said the solar program will save Lincoln Unified about $1 million a year in energy costs, savings that will help the district maintain smaller class sizes and balance the general-fund budget.

The victory will allow Lincoln to take advantage of about $7 million in low-interest federal Clean Renewable Energy Bonds. The district's opportunity to tap into that money would have expired in October. The bond will also pay for nearly $14 million in modernizations at Mable Barron and Claudia Landeen elementary schools and Lincoln High School; $8.1 million to replace portable classrooms at seven campuses; and $5 million for electrical and computer upgrades throughout the district.

"The Lincoln community has provided our students with an invaluable education gift that will benefit our current students and students for years to come," Uslan said. "I am so grateful for the ongoing support our community offers our children."


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