Nuview Union School District
A growing district in Riverside County, Nuview Union School District is committed to what they have defined as their “Mandate of Excellence.” As a four-school K-12 district, faculty and staff are tight-knit and intent on helping equip all their students with the educational tools and community support to enter meaningful college and career opportunities after high school. Like many small districts, Nuview sought out ways to leverage existing resources to continue to provide best-in-class education without having to sacrifice much-needed curricular initiatives. With a vision for thinking bigger about what the district could do, Nuview used energy savings to help fund their campus modernization priorities while improving the learning environment.
In early 2013, Nuview selected OpTerra to transform the district’s energy performance through a unique combination of solar and energy efficiency projects across schools, in addition to addressing safety and security modernization needs. It was essential to Nuview leadership, however, that students, staff, and community benefit from any large-scale construction improvements as well. Excited by the unique opportunity to build a STEM Lab as part of a comprehensive energy program, Nuview sought out a partnership with OpTerra to address energy improvement needs that would, in turn, redirect savings to support mission-critical goals around STEM hands-on learning exposure.
OpTerra STEM Lab
Nuview’s energy program improvements were a perfect platform for expanding student and community understanding of the real-world applications of STEM subjects. The Nuview and OpTerra partnership culminated in the construction of Nuview’s first STEM Lab, housed and operating at Mountain Shadows Middle School. The STEM Lab allows over 120 middle school students a day explore real-world topics in a hands-on way — with modules to engage learners around 21st century issues like sustainable agriculture, intelligent homes, and oceanography.
Through the implementation of cost-saving sustainability programs like new solar shade covers across the district, Nuview Union has been able to invest the projected savings into STEM Lab curricula and hands-on modules capable of nurturing the next generation of scientists and engineers. As of fall 2014, the whole district’s energy program has been linked to a broader energy education program with training open to teachers across subjects. In addition to the success and positive community support for Nuview’s STEM Lab, OpTerra has helped lead hands-on STEM and energy education activities for students across the district to ensure that the large-scale technical work will continue to enhance Nuview’s focus on excellence across the district.
The Technical Scope
- 622 kW of solar PV installed at three sites
- LED interior and exterior lighting replacement throughout district
- OpTerra STEM Lab and energy education program
- STEM Lab modules for Mountain Shadows Middle School
- Hands-on activities for students and professional development workshops
- Integrated security camera and safety technology solutions into modernized energy program
- HVAC upgrades, replacements, and wireless thermostats
- Whole roof replacements, parking lot enhancements