Whitnall aims for a healthy shade of green

Program looks to save energy and use safer cleaning products

Sept. 25, 2008

Seeking to save dollars and “go green,” the Whitnall School District has started a program to specifically increase energy savings and generally create a healthier environment in local schools.

The energy savings push is part of Energy Star, a program introduced to state schools by Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton. Launched by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the program is designed to reduce energy consumption in state public schools.

The district is one of more than 30 throughout the state that have joined the program.

Locally, the primary goal is to increase savings at schools that were built before energy consumption became a priority, District Superintendent Karen Petric said in a recent press release.

A detailed effort

Matt Karshna, building and grounds supervisor for the four-school district, said energy savings involves more than just turning off the lights in the gym locker rooms.

“It’s installing equipment that’s efficient. It’s setting back thermostats and controls to maximize their energy savings and yet maintain the health environment that students need,” Karshna said.

The district will, in effect, grade itself on how well its efforts are working, he said.

“We want to measure and track energy and use that data to make decisions about being a little more ‘green,’ ” Karshna said. “But the bottom line is that we need to save more money on our utilities. Obviously, turning off the heat and the power is going to safe us money.”

‘Green’ in other ways

Another initiative is tied to the school’s environment steps behind energy efficiency.

Karshna said Edgerton Elementary School has been tabbed this year to be a “green” pilot program.

“We’re using (environmentally friendly) hand-soaps and cleaning chemicals,” he said. “A foaming hand soap that is ‘green’ doesn’t contain all the alcohol that’s going to irritate the hands and eyes. … We’re also piloting one manufacturer’s green line of (cleaning) chemicals at Edgerton.”

Karshna said such cleaners don’t contain as many hazardous chemicals as those used in conventional cleaners used by custodians.

While the cost for the safer products is somewhat more expensive than other products, the difference is not enough to significantly impact the budget, and measured use of the cleaners should result in long-term savings, he said.

“Going green means using less product,” Karshna said. “You wind up using fewer chemicals and the chemicals that are going down the drain are safer. The mops you use are a better quality so that you can launder them, and (you) don’t throw them away as often and not as many wind up in a land-fill.”

Edgerton Principal Chris D’Acquisto said the program so far is going well.

“I’ve talked to (a custodian) here and he said it’s going very well as far as cleanliness and so forth,” D’Acquisto said.

Karshna said the green program will likely be introduced at the district’s three other schools — Hales Corners Elementary and Whitnall middle and high schools — beginning next school year.

John Neville can be reached at (262) 446-6609.



estimated percentage of how much the Energy Star Program will save the Whitnall School District per year


public school districts in Wisconsin in the program

$6 billion

amount public schools throughout the country now spend per year on energy costs

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.

Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Oak Creek girls basketball team looks to dominate with depth 11/24

» Wisconsin DOT: South 27th Street is open for business during holiday season 11/24

» Meijer to provide food for Oak Creek's annual 'Evening of Blessings' 11/24

» Greendale School Board Academy to be held for prospective spring election candidates 11/24

» Franklin girls basketball team has talent, looks for depth 11/24

» Oak Creek pulls away late to beat Brookfield Central, 59-46 11/21

» Oak Creek 8th graders 'view the world' as journalists in writing unit, 4 essays to be posted online 11/19

» Updated state championship game rankings of area prep football teams and players 11/19

» Franklin's $37 million budget has no tax change 11/18

» Rawson Avenue closure beginning Nov. 18 11/18

» Cudahy man found dead near hunting tree stand in Adams County 11/18

» Greendale trustees raise tax levy 1 percent, bump up budget by 45 percent to construct fire station 11/18

» Coming off good season, will Oak Creek football team dare to be great? 11/17

» Nine Oak Creek athletes sign letters of intent 11/17

» Franklin, Oak Creek swimmers finish well at state 11/17

» Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce to host social on Nov. 24 11/17

» Oak Creek Culver's to host annual Kids2Kids Toy Drive 11/16

» Hales Corners 2016 proposed budget sees 'nominal increase' 11/16

» Legacy Spa & Salon to host networking event on Nov. 7 in Hales Corners 11/16

» Greendale's first fire engine, which entered service in 1938, returns home 11/16

» Videos: Arrowhead stuns Franklin in epic football finish 11/14

» Resident invited to special Packers event after solving Associated Bank's 'turf search' in Oak Creek 11/13

» Franklin massage spa suspected of prostitution activities; owner charged Updated:  11/13

» Homeless sex offender may be in Hales Corners area 11/13

» Missing Franklin woman found, reunited with family 11/13

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss



Local Business Directory



Most Popular