Preschool Announces First Community Solar Array

by Tesha Buss

Rainbow Playschool is thrilled to have joined forces with Sustainable Woodstock in creating the first Community Solar Array at our new location at 281 North Barnard Road in Woodstock. We have chosen Sundeavor to create the array for our school, as the owner generously agreed to donate our school’s solar needs if we sell 100kW of solar power to members of our community.

Community arrays provide a flexible option for choosing solar. Your panel production is credited to your bill no matter where you live on the GMP grid, which means that now renters have an option in Woodstock to choose solar.  The 30 percent federal tax credit still applies until the end of 2019. If you’re interested in learning more, come to our informational meeting on January 28th at our new location, which is still under construction. It would be helpful for us to have information in advance, so please consider filling out the solar form at: sustainablewoodstock.org/awesome-surveys/rainbowsolar.

Also, Rainbow Playschool is following Sustainable Woodstock’s model of becoming a net-zero facility. We have completed retrofit insulation and are installing heat-pump technology throughout our 7,000 square-foot space. The electric usage for the heat pumps will be offset by our solar production; therefore, we will only have fossil fuel usage for back-up heat. This will provide a $16k – $17k reduction in our annual energy costs. We can apply these savings toward more sustainable wages for our cherished teachers.

Rainbow Playschool has been operating in our community for 36 years, providing childcare for ages 18 months through preschool. We are 4 STARS accredited and have operated with a waiting list for the last 20 years. We have never owned a building and have been renting for over a decade in the basement of the Recreation Center. While it has been a wonderful space for us, we have been at our square footage to child capacity for our tenure.

With the large childcare shortage in our area, particularly for infants, our school’s board of directors decided to purchase a building that will provide the square footage needed to expand our enrollment, including adding an infant program for children 6 weeks to 18 months. Our new location allows for additional expansion in the future, but for now our goal is to begin the fall semester of 2019 with 15 new spots available for ages six weeks to three years.

Our new facility will have approximately 1,400 square feet of office space available for rent, as well as a Community Room available for rent by the hour on nights and weekends with a small kitchen—a great space for birthday parties and private meetings.

We are still raising funds for our renovation project. If you’re interested in donating to our cause, please visit  www.rainbowplayschool.org for more information. Or if you’d like to volunteer, please contact Board President Tesha Buss at Teshabuss@gmail.com or 802-245-4746.

A huge thank you goes out to those who have already contributed to our efforts and for those businesses who annually provide auction items for our Breakfast with Santa fundraiser. It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a community to raise a school!  hank you to our community for your support!

 

 

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