Tonganoxie USD 464


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The Tonganoxie School District is making needed improvements to District buildings to save costs and to improve energy efficiency.  This creates an even better learning environment for the elementary, middle and high school students.  The upgrades are estimated to result in efficiency increases of up to 27 percent.  The overall savings in operations, maintenance and utilities from the facility improvements are projected to be $217,000 annually.

The District elected to enter into a performance contract, which is a self-funding package of products and services customized to building requirements to deliver significant energy and operating cost reductions.  Improvements, already underway, will be completed in September 2009.  The $2.1 million project is projected to be funded through savings realized via the performance contract, with a projected payback of 15 years or less.  Those savings are projected to rise to more than $6.2 million over the system’s predicted lifespan.

Facility Improvements include:

  • High-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to improve indoor air quality, increase ventilation and raise classroom thermal comfort.
  • High performance lighting systems to provide optimal lighting.
  • Low-flow water fixtures to conserve water and reduce sewage.
  • Additional cameras, digital video recorders and monitors to enhance student and staff safety.
  • Bus route automation software to increase bus transportation efficiency and student safety.
  • A District-wide building automation system which enable operations staff to centrally control the HVAC systems to optimize energy and operational efficiencies while improving classroom comfort.
  • Developing a long-range strategic master plan for the district with the services of an educational consultant.

BTU Crew

Tongie_BTU Crew
All sixth grade students in the Tonganoxie Middle School took part in a special program called The BTU Crew, a Trane Energy Efficiency program for buildings, in order to learn more about the improvements going on around them.  At the same time, students were introduced to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that are fun and can make positive contributions to the environment.  The six week course was delivered by Erin Rau, control sales engineer from Trane.

Over the course of the 6 weeks, students conducted experiments on thermal insulation, fluorescent light bulbs and energy transformations.  Using Trane Energy Analyzer Software, students conducted a preliminary energy audit on their school, and completed the course writing letters to local and State Legislators discussing their findings.   On May 22nd a group of students took those letters to Topeka and met with Governor Mark Parkinson and other State Officials to discuss the importance of Energy Efficiency in their school and their community.

Click here to learn more about The BTU Crew.

Rewards and Recognition – Energy Efficiency Leader

When administrators at Tonganoxie Unified School District (USD) 464 embarked on a $2.1 million energy and infrastructure improvement effort last year, they took the project into the classroom, coupling upgrades to buildings with an energy efficiency curriculum. The recently completed infrastructure upgrades are expected to save $217,000 a year in operations, maintenance and utilities costs.

On March 10, 2010 administrators at Tonganoxie USD 464 received the Trane Energy Efficiency Leader in Education Award for their sustainable energy and operational efficiency improvements. The award recognizes the importance of the upgrades and the administrators commitment to optimizing the teaching and learning environment while increasing energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.

The award ceremony was held at Tonganoxie Middle School and Principal Dr. Jill Dickerson was the Master of Ceremonies. Ceremony music was provided by the seventh- and eighth-grade jazz band and the eighth-grade girls choir. Kyle Hayden, USD 464 Superintendent, talks briefly about the project and Trey Fruge, Trane District Manager, congratulates the district by presenting the Middle School with bulbs to plant around their building on Earth Day.

Media Coverage:

  • Video of Dr. Jill Dickerson introducing the project and Trey Fruge, Trane District Manager
  • Video of Keven Ward and Superintendent Kyle Hayden
  • News Coverage of the Event
  • Tonganoxie Mirror 
Rewards and Recognition – Governor’s Energy Achievement

On Wednesday, October 7th, Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson presented the Governor’s Energy Achievement Recognition Awards at the 2009 Kansas Wind and Renewable Energy Conference.  The awards, given annually, recognize leadership and accomplishment in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“It is inspiring to witness Kansans taking the initiative to capture our state’s renewable energy potential,” said Parkinson.  “These award winners understand the economic and environmental benefits of investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and I thank them for their leadership”.

Media Coverage:

Rewards and Recognition – Kansas Friends of Education

On May 21st 2010 Tonganoxie USD 464 awarded Keven Ward, Trane Education Facilities Consultant, and Stephanie Leslie, Trane Marketing Coordinator, the Kansas Friends of Education Award, Private or Public Institution.  This award is sponsored by the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force and recognizes volunteer efforts throughout the state.

Destination ImagiNation

Destination ImagiNation (DI) is an exhilarating after-school activity in which students work in teams to solve mind-bending challenges and present their solutions at tournaments.  Students in the program learn and experience creativity, critical thinking, teamwork and problem solving.

In just over 10 years, DI has grown from a non-profit startup into an organization that offers programs for students of all ages across the United States and in more than 30 countries.  Today, 100,000 children and more than 30,000 adult volunteers take part in the DI program each year.  The DI program – developed jointly with the renowned Center for Creative Learning and The Creative Problem Solving Group – provides children a transformative experience that shifts their world view for the rest of their personal and professional lives.

On April 3, 2010, Destination ImagiNation (DI) made its debut in Kansas, with students from all over the state competing in the first ever Kansas competition.  Tonganoxie Middle School Principal, Dr. Jill Dickerson, was instrumental in bringing DI to Kansas.  Dr. Dickerson is the Kansas State Leader for DI and worked tirelessly over the past year to build teams throughout the state.

Displaying its continued commitment to the education and preparation of school-aged youth in the community, Trane sponsored the Kansas division of DI, helping participating schools continue to offer this program and supporting winning teams in their travels to Global Finals.  In addition, the Trane office in Kansas City provided four volunteer appraisers at DI’s Kansas Tournament.