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PHOTO — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi on Monday, Oct. 28, announces a rooftop solar array for the underway reconstruction of West Haven High School that will generate power for the school once it is installed and save the city more than $1 million in electrical costs over 25 years. Joining Rossi for the City Hall news conference are West Haven High School Building Committee Chairman Kenneth Carney, center, and city energy consultant Adam Teff, general manager of Titan Energy of Rocky Hill. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
WEST HAVEN, Oct. 28, 2019 — The underway reconstruction of West Haven High School will now include a rooftop solar array that will generate power for the school once it is installed and save the city more than $1 million in electrical costs over 25 years, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi announced during a news conference at City Hall on Monday, Oct. 28.
Rossi heralded the news by touting the benefits of solar energy and its positive impact on the environment, saying the roof-mounted array is designed to cut greenhouse gases and will save taxpayers money.
“Solar power is cutting-edge and is attractive to eco-minded students, teachers and those invested in sustainability,” said Rossi, who opened the news conference to “share some positive news.”
“Our attractive new school will be even more attractive to our community with solar-powered mechanicals,” Rossi said. “Environmentally conscious practices and renewable power create an eco-friendly facility that stands out from other high schools.
“I am pleased to say that West Haven High School is gaining a reputation for innovativeness and creativity.”
Rossi was joined at the afternoon announcement by her executive assistant, Lou Esposito; state Reps. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven, and Michael A. DiMassa, D-West Haven; Board of Education Chairwoman Rosemary Russo and member Rosa Richardson; Superintendent of Schools Neil C. Cavallaro; Kenneth Carney, chairman of the West Haven High School Building Committee; and city energy consultant Adam Teff, general manager of Titan Energy of Rocky Hill.
Carney said the solar photovoltaic system will net the city an actual savings of $1.02 million, or just over $40,000 per year, in electrical costs over the 25 years.
Photovoltaic is the conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials.
The installer and owner of the array is Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC of Middletown, which will erect the system in March 2020 and maintain it at no cost to the city or Board of Education, Carney said.
Under an agreement with Greenskies negotiated by Titan Energy, West Haven will off-take the energy generated by the array and purchase the electricity it produces at the negotiated per-kilowatt-hour fixed rate of 5.9 cents over 25 years, well below the city’s current rate of 11 cents, Carney said.
West Haven High’s $130 million reconstruction includes the newly completed addition that Rossi toured on Aug. 27 after greeting students, teachers, faculty and staff on the first day of school.
In addition to the future array, Rossi said the school is being constructed with high-efficiency boilers, LED lighting, an insulated envelope, energy-efficient windows, water-saving fixtures, and high-efficiency heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment.
“All of these energy-efficient components will result in a dramatic reduction in utility costs to operate the new high school,” Rossi said.
Designed by Antinozzi Associates of Bridgeport to accommodate 1,598 students, plans for the reconstructed high school also include renovating the existing building. The total finished project has an area of 265,959 square feet, according to Carney.
Carney said the completed school will offer a cutting-edge media center and advanced STEM classrooms and laboratories for science, technology, engineering and math, as well as upgraded public areas for the school and community. The fully air-conditioned building will have lower maintenance and operating costs and offer enhanced access and security, he said.
Carney said the project’s construction phase, also known as Phase III, is composed of three major “subphases” to allow the school to offer a full academic curriculum throughout the project.
Gilbane Building Co. of Glastonbury is the project’s construction manager, with Amar Shamas serving as the project executive. The Capitol Region Education Council of Hartford, or CREC, is overseeing the construction financing.
Carney said the construction phase, which began in April 2018, is expected to take about three years to complete, with a projected occupancy of new spaces in fall 2019 through 2021. Site restoration work is expected to continue until spring 2022, he said.
Carney confirmed the project is on schedule and $2 million under budget.
The first subphase, completed this fall, included constructing the food services, building services, tech-ed shops, media center, auditorium, music and arts classrooms, and administrative offices.
The second subphase, now underway, calls for renovating the existing eastern three-story building after demolishing the existing cafeteria and media center.
The third subphase includes demolishing the existing auditorium and music spaces, renovating the northern wing of academic spaces, and demolishing the existing gym and southern academic building.
— MICHAEL P. WALSH, Public Relations Information Coordinator
Mayor Nancy R. Rossi on Monday, Oct. 28, announces a rooftop solar array for the underway reconstruction of West Haven High School that will generate power for the school once it is installed and save the city more than $1 million in electrical costs over 25 years. Joining Rossi for the City Hall news conference are West Haven High School Building Committee Chairman Kenneth Carney, center, and city energy consultant Adam Teff, general manager of Titan Energy of Rocky Hill. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)