Phase One of Hillsborough County School District Project Wraps Up

By Roxanne Squires

TAMPA, Fla. — Skanska USA, a leading construction and development firm, and Minimise, an international energy savings company, along with multiple subcontractors, recently announced first phase completion of a large-scale lighting renovation project comprised of the installation of over 40,700 lighting fixtures in school buildings across the Hillsborough County Public Schools.

“In less than four weeks this summer, Minimise and Skanska were able to replace old lighting in nearly half our schools,” said Chris Farkas, deputy superintendent of operations for the Hillsborough County School District. “That means nearly 100,000 kids immediately get better learning environments and the district immediately starts saving money.”

The replacement of outdated lighting fixtures and lamps with energy-efficient lighting systems at 93 schools in Hillsborough County will generate significant cost savings over the long term.

“Hillsborough County is the eighth largest school district in the country, with over 250 sites that serve approximately 216,000 students,” said Hillsborough County School Board Member Susan Valdes. “We also employ about 24,000 employees and operate on a budget of $3 billion. As a very large district, it’s important to invest in improvements like this lighting upgrade and energy management system that can help increase our operational efficiencies.”

To finish the project this quickly took both dedication and careful collaboration between the Hillsborough County School District, Minimise and Skanska.

“The Skanska team worked in close collaboration with Minimise to carry out this comprehensive lighting replacement project across dozens of schools in the Hillsborough County community,” said Michael C. Brown, executive vice president and general manager of Skanska USA’s building operations in Florida. “Not only does this project translate to measurable long-term energy savings for the school district, but it provides quality lighting that will allow for a better learning experience.”

The next phase of the project is currently underway which includes lighting and energy management installations at dozens of more schools in the county.

“Our work with the Hillsborough County Public Schools has many benefits for the school district and the greater community, from the immediate impact of better lighting for the students and faculty to the overall energy upgrades being made to every building districtwide,” said Daniel Badran, CEO of Minimise USA. “More importantly, through the Minimise USA No Capital Outlay Plan,100% of the energy savings solutions are delivered at zero capital outlay funds by HCPS, hence, freeing up public assets for other uses.” Badran continued to say: “Another long-term benefit is the ability to get cost certainty for specific utilities for a long period of time at no upfront or ongoing capital cost to the school district. All these benefits combined make for an incredible achievement.”

The extent of the work completed includes removing existing indoor lighting fixtures across the school campuses and replacing them with LED light systems.

The Skanska and Minimise teams have begun the second phase of the project that started in September 2018, and involves the installation of an additional 110,000 lighting fixtures and related energy management systems in 150 schools in the county.

Reports from Skanska USA were used for this story.