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Hope School Board gets Entegrity update

By Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools, 03/16/22 2:10 AM

Board gets Entegrity update

HOPE – The Hope Public Schools Board of Education learned Monday how the heart of a multi-year project to change the way the Hope Public Schools receive and use energy will begin beating in April as a 1.13 megawatt solar electric power array goes online across Lakeshore Drive from Clinton Primary School.

Prior to the board’s regular March meeting, conducted at Hempstead Hall on the University of Arkansas-Hope campus, the board convened to accept the 10-acre solar array project from builder Entegrity Partners of Fayetteville in a “Flip the Switch” ceremony.

At that ceremony, HPS Board President Linda Haynes did the symbolic honors by turning on a mock switch as Haynes said, “We try to be on the cutting edge of innovation.”

Entegrity Regional Business Development Director John Coleman told the board at the latter meeting the project represents the heart of a nine-part program that will ultimately save the HPS as much as $200,000 annually in energy usage costs.

“It was really exciting to see this come together,” Coleman said.

He said the full project will include LED lighting conversions, water conservation measures, HVAC system upgrades, as well as an educational component that will bring the solar power conversion to students in real time.

Coleman said HPS teachers will be provided sustainable educational components beginning in the fifth grade such as “solar suitcases” which allow students hands-on operation of a mini-solar panel to power a light bulb, fan or phone charger. Combined with the energy efficiencies component, students will have the opportunity to learn more about sustainable energy and the environment, he said.

The educational component will extend to UAHT as Chancellor Dr. Christine Holt told the board the University of Arkansas System is on board as the campus develops a solar power studies program.

“We instituted the new solar program this year,” Dr. Holt said.

Coleman said the multi-year project initiated by former Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart was smoothly facilitated in the transition as Dr. Jonathan Crossley became HPS superintendent both by Crossley’s quick study and the professionalism of HPS Transportation and Facilities Director Maurice Henry.

“We had to work with Hope Water and Light on a policy change and Maurice has been with us all the way,” Coleman said.

He said the solar array is scheduled to go online in April.

Also, Monday, the board approved the creation of a Curriculum and Instruction Specialist position.

Dr. Crossley said the position will be funded through a federal grant and will involve coordination of planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum programs, assessment and data analysis.

“This is a level of expertise that is needed for this day and age,” Crossley said.

He said the position will allow the district to better focus its curriculum improvement and data analysis required for state reporting and teacher professional development.

In other actions Monday, the board:

–Adopted a school calendar for the 2022-2023 academic year.

–Approved the purchase of new football uniforms in a five-year rotation plan from BSN Sports of Dallas, Texas, for $33,967.48.

–Agreed to release three buses for auction as surplus property.

–Approved the addition of the Campus Social Worker position to the district salary schedule.

–Rejected a facilities-use request from No. 59 Sports Group, LLC, of Carrollton, Texas, for youth and adult basketball tournaments.

–Approved personnel recommendations by administration.