By Tamas Mondovics
In a press release last week, Johnson County Schools announced that Mountain City Elementary (MCE) won $100,000 from the Building Energy Upgrade or Learning Environment grant through Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) School Uplift program.
According to school officials “tight budgets and aging buildings” leave many schools facing a difficult decision between funding learning programs and making needed facility upgrades.
“The students and staff at Mountain City Elementary are very excited and appreciative of being a recipient of the TVA School Uplift Program Grant,” said school principal Gay Triplett. “This grant will fund energy-efficient upgrades to the facility and learning environment improvements based on input from students.”
TVA’s $7.3 million School Uplift program is reportedly helping 160 public schools in seven states help make the right decisions.
“School Uplift is another great example of TVA and Mountain Electric Cooperative working together to enrich our community,” said Dr. Mischelle Simcox, Director of Schools.
School Uplift is a 12-month behavior-based energy management training program developed with the State of Tennessee’s Energy Efficient Schools Initiative that helps public school districts make smart energy choices that improve the classroom learning environment and save money through decreased energy use.
Simcox emphasized that the district is pleased with the grant, especially since MEC needs improvements.
“We are so excited to have earned this grant, which we will invest in needed upgrades that will improve our facility and make Mountain City Elementary School more efficient, healthy, and comfortable. That means our teachers can focus more on teaching, and our students can thrive.”
The releases stated that sixty schools have completed the School Uplift pilot over the past two years, competing to earn grants for building upgrades and other learning environment improvements.
“On average, participating schools have saved more than 10 percent on their annual energy bills from behavior changes alone,” the release said.
“Every dollar invested in our schools helps districts allocate resources to where it matters most – educating our children – and we’re excited to bring School Uplift to the communities we serve,” said Cindy Herron, vice president of TVA EnergyRight. “Helping schools save money on their energy costs and improve learning environments is an important investment in the Valley’s future. I look forward to seeing how this program makes an impact for years to come.”TVA EnergyRight and Mountain Electric Cooperative are promising to continue recruiting public K-12 schools for the 2023-2024 program.
For more information or to express interest in participating in the program, please visit energyright.com/business-industry/school-uplift.