Energy: Phase 3 Solar Panel Project – November Update

Summary  of the estimated dates of construction of Phase 3 Solar Panel Project at Newton schools. Please note that dates are still subject to change depending upon a number of factors.

Source:  Facilities Updated to the School Committee on Nov 18, 2019   

1. Zervas and Education Center roof projects have started and will be completed by the end of the year.

2. North High School parking canopies. There are two canopies being constructed, one at Lowell Avenue and one at Walnut Street. This will be done in two phases with foundation work done mostly during the April 2020 School Break and the installation of the canopies during the summer. This proposed schedule should greatly minimize alternative parking as was originally foreseen.
– The foundations will be built over the spring break week. The Lowell Ave work will spill over into the two weeks after spring break. The Walnut Street work will be done before students
return from spring break. There’s a plan for alternative parking for these two spillover weeks.
– The canopies and solar panels will be erected during the summer 2020 and alternative parking is not anticipated at this point.

3. Cabot, Carr, and Angier roof projects are currently schedule for the spring. A specific schedule will be provided when available. These roof projects will be done with minimal disruption to school activities. Material will be craned to the roofs on a Saturday and will be out of the way once they are on the roof. Materials will be on site for a few days before craning but we will coordinate with the Facilities Department to place these materials in an acceptable location while they wait for craning.

4. Education Center parking canopies are planned for the spring.

According to Mayor Fuller, “Solar panels are currently being installed on the roof of
the Zervas Elementary School. When the solar array comes online in December, it will provide 42 percent of the school’s electricity.”

Zervas Solar Panels 2019

School Cases: Zervas encourages families to walk, bike, ride the bus or carpool to school

Original post from Zervas Walks – 

Zervas is celebrating international walk to school day on Friday, October 4.

GETTING TO SCHOOL

WALKWalking is the best way to get to school! Kids love to walk, especially with friends, and it gives them time to wake-up, socialize and expend a little energy so they arrive at school ready to learn. Walking home is a great way to wind down. We encourage all families to walk whenever possible. Zervas is designed as a walkable school.

BIKE – Biking is another great way to get to school! Children in grades K through 3 should bike with an adult. There are bike racks by the front door of the school and at the back playground.  The Newton Police will host bike safety training for Zervas 5th graders again this year.

BUSSchool buses help reduce traffic! If you live more than a mile from school you may be eligible for bus service. Go to the Newton Public Schools transportation website for more information and Zervas bus schedules.

CARParking is extremely limited. Drivers must use the Blue Zone (a “live” drop-off/pick-up zone) or park legally on the street. If you choose to drive, please read this guide and review the map carefully.

SCHOOL ZONE SAFETY

  • Slow down, hang up, and be patient!
  • Kids must always use the crosswalk even with an adult!
  • Never drop off or pick up from a traffic lane or a No Parking or No Standing area – only from the Blue Zone or a legal parking space. There are no parking spaces in front of the Blue Zone.
  • Beethoven Ave is Do Not Enter at drop-off and pick-up headed north. Stay on the east side of the street to allow for emergency vehicles.
  • No turning in driveways — kids are running down the sidewalk that you are crossing!
  • If the Blue Zone is full you cannot wait for spaces to open – it creates dangerous gridlock. Either circle the block or park legally.
  • Don’t back up to exit the Blue Zone – a child might step off the curb behind you!
  • Park legally. Observe all signs.
  • Do not enter the school bus loop or staff parking lot on Beacon St.
  • Never block (or park within 5ft. of, or park in) a private driveway.
  • Never pass a school bus with flashing red lights! It’s the law.

More on the Zervas Walks website

Organics Collection Pilot in Newton Schools

Original post from Green Cart Chronicle Summer 2019 Edition – 

In January 2019, organics collection was launched in the cafeteria of two Newton schools, Angier Elementary School and Zervas Elementary School. Each lunch period, students sort their waste into three categories of waste: trash, recycling, and organics. Organic material includes food waste, napkins, and other compostable material.

The organic material is hauled from the schools by a vendor to Charlestown, MA. The Charlestown facility turns the food waste into a slurry that is then anaerobically digested at a wastewater treatment facility. Anaerobic digestion is a process through which the organic material mass is reduced, producing methane gas, which is then used to generate energy. Solids remaining after anaerobic digestion are composted. DPW is working with NPS to add organics diversion in up to 12 more schools in the 2019-2020 school year.

ANAEROBIC DIGESTION VS COMPOSTING

Composting is a natural degradation process. The breakdown of organic matter occurs over time from exposure to oxygen, moisture, and naturally occurring bacteria. The result of the process is a humus material called compost.

Anaerobic digestion is a biological process by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen, producing carbon dioxide and methane gas. The process is used for industrial or domestic purposes to reduce waste solids and produce renewable fuel that can be captured and used, offsetting the use of fossil fuels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The remaining solids are then composted.