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HIDOE Continues Cooling Classrooms Statewide

July 4, 2017, 11:00 AM HST (Updated July 3, 2017, 7:47 AM)
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Hawaii DOE logoThe Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) has been working to fast track energy-efficient cooling solutions for classrooms statewide through its Heat Abatement program.

During the last three years, schools across the state have been evaluated for various cooling options including air conditioning (AC), ceiling fans, nighttime heat flushing fans, solar light, trees, heat reflective paint and more.

“The department has made every effort to find solutions to cooling our classrooms in that is not only cost-efficient but also energy efficient,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Our Heat Abatement program includes long-term plans for our schools as well as addressing the high-priority classrooms quickly. We want to thank the legislature for funding this effort to accomplish this goal.

In 2016, Governor David Ige appropriated $100 million in funding through Act 47 to equip and install AC units and other cooling implements as part of his ʻCool Classrooms initiative.ʻ So far, the governorʻs efforts combined with HIDOEʻs Heat Abatement program have resulted in the installation of 456 AC units in classrooms; the order of 1,062 AC units; the installation of 201 solar AC units; 1,062 AC units ordered; and 402 portable AC units distributed to the hottest classrooms in the state.

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Phase II of the Heat Abatement program is currently underway, focusing on implementing passive cooling projects. So far, 461 portable classrooms have been covered with heat reflective material, trees have been planted at numerous campuses, four buildings are being outfitted with awnings, 139 classrooms have had ceiling fans installed, and cafeteria dining rooms have been upgraded with large-diameter ceiling fans.

“Despite a few setbacks, which included high bid prices due to Hawai‘i’s construction, the department has worked diligently to come up with solutions that have kept our heat abatement efforts moving forward,” added Assistant Superintendent Dann Carlson. “Our push for better prices has allowed us to cool more classrooms.”

For more information about HIDOE’s Heat Abatement program and continued updates about ongoing projects statewide, visit bit.ly/heatabatement. A cost breakdown of the AC projects is available at bit.ly/2skoSGz.

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