South San Francisco USD Celebrates New, High Efficiency LED Stadium Lighting Installation at El Camino High School

South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) held a ceremonial groundbreaking yesterday to celebrate the brand new stadium lighting being installed at El Camino High School. The makeover taking place on the athletic field is just one key part of a comprehensive, district-wide program enhancing the District's sustainability profile as well as linking technical facility upgrades to STEM initiatives across grade levels. A large crowd including District Leadership, local elected officials, 25 student athletes representing a wide array of El Camino sports teams, and community members gathered to commemorate the beginning of this new chapter of energy work happening across campuses.

(OpTerra Energy Services/ LEDinside)

Through a long-term project with OpTerra Energy Services, based in Oakland with a local workforce of engineers serving the Bay Area, the initiative will save the District over $2 Million for the General Fund and create over 30 construction jobs for the skilled local workforce.

Brightening the Night for Student Athletes

After years of collaboration that brought the development of solar installations and a STEM Institute to the District, SSFUSD and OpTerra are now entering a new chapter of project to deliver additional solar capacity, interior/exterior LED lighting retrofits, and the installation of the brand new LED stadium lighting at El Camino High School's 'Colts Field.'

The installation of 96 brand new LED stadium lights at the El Camino High School athletic field is a central feature to supporting an enriched student and fan experience at SSFUSD in 2017. The El Camino Colts have never had permanent field lighting for any athletic events over the past 50 years, relying on use of other District facilities for night games and single-use, low-efficiency rental lights.

Not only will the Colts' new LEDs be the most energy efficient lighting available, the directed light they cast provides razor-sharp definition to ensure clear visibility on the field and in the stands.

South San Francisco's self-described "Friday Night Lights" effort will achieve great things for more than 1,400 students at El Camino High School, including:

  • Allowing El Camino student-athletes to compete later in the evening, when their parents, teachers, and community members can attend home games

  • Creating a safe environment for evening sporting events and special community events such as graduation

  • Reducing early class dismissals for student athletes

As Assistant Athletic Director Eric Jacobson enthusiastically shared with the community, "This is a dream come true for so many Colts who ever played on that field from 1961-2016. Thank you to all those who have brought lights to the beautiful Colts Field."

Energizing Student Success

In addition to the major improvements happening at the Colts Field in 2017, SSFUSD will add to its existing solar capacity, will implement high-efficiency energy technologies across the District's campuses, and will reduce its energy expenditures by over 75% by the end of the program implementation. These energy initiatives will also serve a dual purpose for the District by creating real-world opportunities for South San Francisco's students to learn about STEM.

Speaking to the power of the co-developed STEM Institute that resulted from the partnership early on, Superintendent Dr. Shawnterra Moore affirmed, "This has been an amazing partnership to date. Last summer, we were thrilled to launch the Summer STEM Institute with OpTerra – it is an exciting learning opportunity for our teachers. Providing world-class enrichment experiences like this is a hallmark of the District's commitment to cultivating the next generation of leaders, thinkers, and innovators."

OpTerra CEO John Mahoney commended the District on its passion for linking sustainability and STEM education through the foundation of energy as well. "With our deep company roots across the Bay Area, OpTerra's work with SSFUSD has been a true win for all of us in a local community that supports energy innovation in the public sector. We are so proud to help SSFUSD's stadium lighting project come to life while providing ongoing positive environmental and educational impact for South City's students and community members."

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