West Irondequoit Central School District is in the Town of Irondequoit, between Rochester, NY and Lake Ontario. It serves a student population of more than 3,800 students housed in 10 schools, including seven buildings representing more than 580,000 square feet of floor space. This district accepts the responsibility of ensuring continuous intellectual, social, and personal growth for all students so that each will become a life-long learner and productive world citizen. To accomplish this goal, the West Irondequoit Central School District works to maintain an environment that stimulates and supports continuous growth through caring interaction and collaboration among students, educators, parents, higher education, industry, local community groups, and the world community. Since 2009, the district has benchmarked its school facilities through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Energy Smart Schools Program, which utilizes EPA's ENERGY STAR measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. The district furthered its commitment to saving energy in 2009 when it joined as an ENERGY STAR partner.
West Irondequoit Central School District has been recognized by EPA as an ENERGY STAR Leader for improving its energy efficiency by more than 20 percent over its 2007 baseline and as a Top Performer for achieving an average ENERGY STAR energy performance score of 76 across its portfolio of buildings. In addition, six of its school buildings have earned the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance. The district's energy use reduction to date has eliminated the emissions of more than 760 metric tons of greenhouse gases per year, which is equal to the emissions from almost 150 passenger vehicles annually. The district-wide total energy reduction has also led to energy cost savings totaling over $464,000 per year. West Irondequoit has accomplished its energy goals through the cooperative efforts of the district staff. Using DynaCal, a Web-based calendar, to schedule use allows the staff to make wise choices about school day, after hours, and weekend events and place the events, community education, and team practices in a way that uses the fewest possible HVAC zones. Large areas such as auditoriums, all purpose rooms, band rooms, and gyms are now scheduled according to planned use rather than by a fixed, unvarying day. District wide, these HVAC zones are controlled using a Siemens system, which allows on-the-fly scheduling, optimal start and stop times for demand control, equipment failure alarms, and long-term repeat event scheduling. In June 2007, these efforts received a huge boost with the hiring of an experienced systems controls mechanic. This person was declared Energy Manager in 2009, a step that acknowledged the Board of Education's recognition of the effectiveness of the cooperation of the principals, athletic director, community education director, testing coordinators, students, and community members.
Other energy-saving projects have included installing occupancy sensors for most of the district's lighting in 2003, turning off exterior lighting after the people have safely left the building, which is supported by our community "Dark Sky" groups, gaining staff and student commitment to dressing sensibly for weather conditions, turning off the boilers and roof top unit gas service in the warm weather season and the kitchen gas service during the summer recess, and installing an instant hot water through a steam heat exchanger for the high school domestic hot water and 306,000 gallon swimming pool. A maintenance work order system, Que Centre, supported by the Monroe #1 Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) helps to continuously capture best practices for maintenance so the equipment can continually operate at peak efficiencies. Preference is given to ENERGY STAR qualified products when choosing personal computers, laptops, and kitchen and faculty room appliances. Compromises have been made for productivity such as installing override buttons for school and district offices so that after hours use can be accommodated for two hours at a time when a precise schedule is not available, and unit heaters are sometimes used to support a single person working in a 30-classroom zone. The district's continual improvements in energy efficiency are due to the cooperative efforts among the staff and their enthusiastic support to improve efficiencies in operation just as they strive to improve student performance.