SYRACUSE — Roughly within two months “we will start realizing the benefits of the sun,” said James Flecker, director of personnel and legal services for the Wawasee Community School Corporation. His comment was made during a special meeting of the Wawasee School Board Tuesday evening, March 26, in Syracuse.
The main purpose of the special meeting was to move forward with an extensive solar project for the school corporation. Using a manual adjustable tilting system, solar panels will be installed at all schools in the corporation with the exception of Wawasee High School, which will receive power from panels installed at the nearby bus garage on Kern Road. A second set of panels on the garage property will power the bus garage.
Flecker noted the agreement the board approved is a third-party agreement where Stearns Bank, based in Minnesota, will finance the solar panels and hire someone to install them. A 30 percent federal solar incentive tax credit will be utilized and the school corporation will maintain the grounds around the panels, such as mowing and trimming.
He said the agreement is for 20 years with a six year opt out provision and the school corporation will buy energy from the bank. More details will be announced later after the installer is hired.
In other business, the board approved a switch of required classes to graduate from the high school. Digital applications will no longer be required to graduate, but will instead be an elective class. Personal finance will now be a required class for graduation.
Kim Nguyen, high school principal, said digital applications is no longer necessary because by the time students are in high school, they are already quite familiar with digital technology.
Personal finance needs to be a requirement, he said, “because I believe kids need to learn a lot more about personal finances and banking.”
This change will take effect with the freshman class entering the high school during the 2019-20 school year.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved the hiring of Sara Christner as a full-time administrative assistant for the Pathways Cooperative, which is based at Wawasee High School. A graduate of Wawasee, she most recently worked for Maple Leaf Farms and will begin her new position Monday, April 8.