Montana

Dec 7, 2010 1:29 AM by Allyson Weller - KPAX News

Stevensville school going solar

STEVENSVILLE - One of Montana's oldest running schools is adding solar energy to its roof and awareness to its classrooms.

Lone Rock School is hoping to be a leader in energy awareness.

Lone Rock Superintendent David Cluff says three years ago, Lone Rock School started an after school "energy club" to raise awareness for students.

"We wanted to see if we could take the ideas from our energy club and put them into the classroom"

Now the school is working with a regional group that's helping schools go solar.

And Craig Collins with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) says Lone Rock School was a perfect place to introduce the new "solar plan".

"It's a very special school and you can see that from the involvement and the passion of the teachers here and the interest level that I've already seen in the students."

Collins says BEF installs around 40 systems a year to schools in the Pacific Northwest.

"We're hopefully generating another generation of solar smart citizens and consumers that will be able to see the benefits of solar, see where it should be and could be used, and to really just demystify it."

Lone Rock student body president Randy Mcgrann says going solar is a good for the school and the student body.

"I think it's all around great, we're going to learn about it which is great because then we could use that in the future and then it's also spending less money so we can do more fun things for the school."

The school will also work with their energy provider to see exactly how much they are saving each month.

Ravalli Electric Co-op Manager of member services, Jim Maunder says they're excited to be a part of the BEF project.

"We're just happy that the communities coming together with the support, we're happy that Bonneville Environmental Foundation chose us as one of their projects and so we're really looking forward to get up and running and see what it can do."

Lone Rock hopes this new project will help get the kids to start saving energy and show them possible career options for their future.

Tuesday BEF and Lone Rock will meet with different companies to find out who will install the project.

If all goes smoothly Lone Rock plans to have the program up and running by the end of this school year.

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