Byron CUSD 226 moves forward with solar project

By Zachary Sprunger

Byron Community Unit School District (CUSD) 226, in partnership with architecture and engineering firm Fanning Howey, is beginning construction of a 50 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, to be installed this summer. When complete, the installation will consist of 160 solar panels located on the high school gymnasium roof.

“The new solar installation is part of Byron’s long-term commitment to educational excellence, sustainability and cost-effective operations,” said Byron CUSD 226 Superintendent, Dr. James Hammack. “Solar gives us the ability to produce our own power without pollution and to lower our long-term operating costs.”

The solar photovoltaic system is part of several energy-focused building improvements occurring during the summer of 2017. Byron CUSD 226 officials are working with Fanning Howey to improve heating and thermal storage systems at the high school and to add electronic controls to the middle school.

“Byron CUSD 226 has made an excellent investment,” says Tim Lehman, PE, LEED AP, director of Mechanical engineering for Fanning Howey. “We project that these improvements will pay for themselves in less than 10 years. Students will also enjoy classrooms that are more comfortable and education-friendly.”

The Byron CUSD 226 Board of Education approved bids for the project on April 25, 2017. Construction is currently underway, with all work scheduled to be complete by November 2017.