Sunburst, MT -Today, wind farm owner NaturEner donated $25,000 to upgrade the gas lines and plumbing in the North Toole County High School science lab as well as invest in updated math and science curriculum for K – 8th grade students.
“Science is the bedrock of our company, so it was only fitting that we partner with the school to help upgrade the lab facility and curriculum,” José María Sánchez Seara, NaturEner President and CEO said. “Sunburst is an excellent school and the newly updated science facility will only compliment the education students receive there.”
The all-purpose lab was originally built in 1954 when the North Toole County High School was constructed. Though the labs ceiling and flooring tiles were replaced in the 1990’s when the Sunburst School District did asbestos abatement, the lab has stayed virtually the same. Estimates for the upgrades are around $13,500.
“The donation from NaturEner to help replace the gas lines and the plumbing is vital to bringing the lab up to code and renovating it to help serve the next 60 years of science students at North Toole County High School in Sunburst,” Superintendent Barbachano said.
A few years ago, a small gas leak occurred in the line under the lab floor. While the school created a protocol to turn the gas on and off at the main line valve, which allowed classes to continue, the gas lines have been an issue the school has been trying to address for a while. The school also faces significant plumbing issues under one of our main lab sinks, which continues to cause hot water line issues down the remainder of that hall effecting three classrooms and a bathroom.
Because the gas and plumbing lines are intricately connected, both issues needed to be addressed at the same time creating more of a financial obstacle.
At the beginning of this school year, the Sunburst School Board created annual objectives and at the top of the list (after facilities) was adopting new Math curriculum and resources. The current math resources vary in age from grade to grade, but they are not currently aligned to the new Montana State Standards and teachers have had to supplement materials for the past ten years. The ability to implement new Math curriculum and resources will benefit students and teachers alike and help to prepare students for their futures.
“It’s important to our company that we continue to do projects around the community. Our employees live here, they send their kids to school here, so it’s important we give back through service days and direct donations. We recognize the impact from protested taxes and hope our targeted donations continue to make a positive impact,” Candace Saffery Neufeld, NaturEner COO said.
The science lab project is expected to begin and be completed during summer break, while the new curriculum will be implemented in the fall of 2017 with teachers receiving initial and ongoing professional development starting in August.
About the Company:
NaturEner USA and NaturEner Canada develop and operate utility scale renewable projects in North America. Using advanced renewable integration solutions and leveraging ownership of strategic transmission positions, we unlock and optimize renewable generation. NaturEner owns and operates three wind farms in Montana (Rim Rock, Glacier Wind 1 and Glacier Wind 2).