Glassboro School District kicked-off its solar power installation with a groundbreaking ceremony. Pictured (from left – right) are Thomas E. Bowe Principal Kriston Matthews, Board of Education member Susette Jones, Business Administrator/Board Secretary Walt Pudelko, Board of Education member Linda Emory, Superintendent Mark J. Silverstein, FVHD architect George R. Duthie, Board of Education member Anthony Marino, Board of Education President Pete Calvo, Freeholder Heather Simmons, Marina Energy Senior Vice President Stephen Poniatowicz, and Ray Angelini, Inc. Senior Vice President Joe Joyce.

GLASSBORO – Glassboro School District broke ground recently on a solar power project that will produce 589,000 kWh of energy a year at Thomas E. Bowe School. Joe Joyce, senior vice president for project contractor Ray Angelini, Inc. said the energy equates to fueling 5 ½ tanker trucks or 50 houses annually.

At the October 3 Solar Power Groundbreaking Ceremony, Glassboro Board of Education President Pete Calvo remarked, “We are proud to break ground on the installation of solar power at Bowe for many reasons. First, the project is tax and budget neutral. This project was intended to be completed with no impact on district funds, and we are very happy that we kept our promise. Second, shifting to solar power at Bowe will help our district realize energy cost savings. Those savings will allow us as a district to channel less funding into energy bills and more into programs that benefit our students. Lastly, by using ‘green energy,’ we protect our earth and teach our students that energy conservation is a responsibility we all share.”

Ray Angelini, Inc. Project Manager Charles Ross and Joyce indicated that the product will provide opportunities for students to monitor energy usage through informational displays. Glassboro Superintendent Mark J. Silverstein, Ed. D. believes that the project will reap dividends in preparing future students of the new Glassboro High School Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academy. The district’s STEM Academy is expected to debut for the 2013-14 school year.

“Instructional achievement while paramount can only be helped when we can put additional resources into the classroom as we are doing with the solar project. I charge the Thomas E. Bowe students with being the students who enter our upcoming GHS engineering academy so they will design these panels in the future.”

Thomas E. Bowe students, introduced by Principal Kriston Matthews, presented posters to mark the occasion. The colorful posters reflected the education they already received at school in energy conservation (reduce, reuse and recycle).

Attending the ceremony were building and district administrators; Board of Education members Calvo, Linda Emory, Susette Jones and Anthony Marino; Glassboro School District Community Affairs Secretary Jody Rettig; Thomas E. Bowe School students; FVHD architect George R. Duthie; Freeholder Simmons; and representatives from contractor Ray Angelini, Inc. and Marina Energy, a firm that will own/operate the solar array.

Simmons heralded the event, stating, “Glassboro Schools’ solar power purchase agreement project is the perfect example of leveraging private investment for the benefit of public education because every cent we can save in operations is funneled directly into the classroom.  In this case, Ray Angelini, Inc. and Marina Energy have made investments in construction and ownership/management of the ground-mounted array respectively, so there is no capital cost to the taxpayers.  The solar energy generated will reduce energy usage and Co2 emissions, while at the same time cutting energy costs to the Bowe School.”

Calvo took the opportunity to recognize key contributors in the project. “Special thanks to Anthony Marino, Operations Committee Chair; Walt Pudelko, Business Administrator; Drew Sole, Director of Buildings & Grounds; and the Board for supporting this project and seeing it  come to fruition,” said Calvo.

The solar power project will include more than 1,800 panels. Contractors are scheduled to begin installation by next month and complete the project by March 2013.

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