From an article by in the Racine Journal Times:
RACINE – Workers spent Wednesday installing new solar panels at the Racine Montessori School, the latest move by the school to go green.
The school’s solar panel project has been in the works for about two years and is finally being completed this week with the installation of 84 panels on the roof of the school’s gymnasium, said Rita Lewis, administrator at the Racine Montessori School, 2317 Howe St.
The panels are being installed by Madison-based H&H Solar Energy Services. When installation is complete, the panels should generate about 40 percent of the energy the school needs. To show students when the panels are working, ceiling fans directly tied to the panels will be installed in the school’s hallways. The fans’ blades will rotate on sunny days when the panels are absorbing sunlight to convert to energy, Lewis said.
To mark the panels’ installation, the school’s elementary students had a “Solar Celebration” Wednesday where they spent time outside singing sun-themed songs like “You Are My Sunshine” and cooking s’mores in homemade aluminum foil solar ovens, Lewis said.
The solar panels and installation, which cost about $134,000 altogether, were paid for through two large grants from We Energies and two large donations from local families. Clifton and Gladys Peterson and Charles and Kathryn Heide each donated about $22,000 for the project. Gladys Peterson formerly taught at the school and the Heide family had grandchildren attend, Lewis said.
“They are the two families who really made it happen for us,” she said.
The solar panels are the latest green effort under way at the school, which this week was awarded a school Green Award from the Sierra Club of southeastern Wisconsin, according to Lewis.