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Mt. Vernon Schools

mt-vernon-logoMt. Vernon R-5 School District is a Class AAA school system consisting of 4 schools, with 2 state colleges and several private colleges within 40 miles.  They serve approximately 1500 K-12 students.  The Mt. Vernon R-5 school district is committed to helping students reach their full potential and to help instill a love of learning.

The top priorities for this project were energy savings, updated lighting in older classrooms, user comfort and maintenance savings.  Energyficient’s team of professionals worked with the school district to evaluate four district schools and create a comprehensive design plan that would best fit their needs.

Three of the four schools were found to be good candidates for lighting upgrades.  The intermediate school was found to be up-to-date and there was no financial incentive to update the buildings’ lighting system.

While the Elementary School did have a somewhat recent addition, there were enough areas presenting old technology for it to be included in the project.  The building had a mix of T8 and T12 systems, both of which were updated.


The Mt. Vernon Junior High School presented many opportunities for savings by using an engineered design approach.  The main building gymnasium was recessed 2’x2′ metal halide fixtures and the hallway around the gym contained fixtures with missing or broken lenses and were well beyond their usable life.

The Mt. Vernon High School building presented almost all old technology with just a few existing T8 fixtures, mostly in the new addition.  The gymnasium had recently been updated to T5 fixtures, but the weight room on the gym mezzanine had 2’x2′ metal halide fixtures in a recessed ceiling.

The number of different types of light bulbs and ballasts it required to maintain the old system was a drain on resources, both financially and physically.  There were 4 generations of lighting technology in place at the schools.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll outdoor fixtures were replaced with LED fixtures, providing a super long life of 20+ years.  Lighting controls were applied wherever fiscally responsible, and reflectors and socket kits were used to reduce lamp count and lamp type in many existing fixtures.

All gymnasiums will be provided with bi-level lighting control through a “real key” switch. Gymnasiums are a multipurpose room as much as they are gyms anymore. It’s not required and wasteful to light the gym for competitive sports levels when its being used for recreational events or normal physical education activities. The new systems will have a low mode with the light level tuned to the stadards for general purpose activities and the high levels tuned to highest sport activity standard. (See inset)

Lighting controls will also be provided in all rooms that presented a financial case to support them. See space listing for exact locations and details. Controls will be passive infrared for all areas with the addtion of microphonic control for classrooms. These systems and our attention to the design will ensure a smooth operating system.

The media center rooms and computer labs (as described in our space listing) in all the buildings will recieve the latest generation, Volumetric, LED recessed lumenaires to provide a bi-level lighting system that will be beneficial to the learning environment. These new fixtures will be able to be used in a low mode for many day to day activities and in a high mode for special events or special activities. Media centers for example may choose to run the lights in low mode until there is a specific group in the room.

Most all screw in lamps will be eliminated from the system. This improves sustainability and consolidates lamp types.


The south building at the middle school will get all new recessed fixtures in a new layout to provide uniform light levels and eliminate the need to find custom lenses for the existing fixtures.

All existing T8 systems found within the buildings other than the Intermediate School will be updated to the latest T8 technology ballasts and lamps. Replacing existing T8 lamps makes financial sense by providing a payback and also updates all lamp types to lamps that are compliant with the latest in Federal Government regulations. Replacing all lamps also provides a unique opportunity to schedule future group relampings thereby providing additional maintenance and cost savings and eliminates warranty confusion.