DAKOTA, IIl., Sept. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — After a quick implementation period that started in April 2017, Dakota Community Unit School District 201 (D201) has completed installation of a district-wide facilities modernization program centered on improving safety, security, and the learning environment. The comprehensive, guaranteed project, designed and built by partner OpTerra Energy Services (OpTerra), is expected to yield $1.5 million in net energy savings over 20 years that will be redirected to essential support services.

Dakota 201 School Board and Leadership with OpTerra team during energy project celebration event on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.

In a celebration event held prior to yesterday’s School Board Meeting, a team of D201 leaders recognized the improvements that have taken place at all sites.

«OpTerra designed and implemented these improvements to help make D201 premier in the area, providing far-reaching, long-term benefits to every student, staff member and community member,» shared School Board President Colette Binger.  «We transformed the interior and exterior environments to keep Dakota proud!»

The community celebrated completion of improvements that meet D201’s highest priorities and most critical needs:

  • Mechanical: Cooling, Heating, Ventilation, Other Mechanical and Plumbing Upgrades
  • Safety and Security: Security, Telephone, Health Life Safety, Bleachers and Stadium
  • Conservation: Human Centric Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Lighting, Exterior LED Lighting, Building Automation System (BAS) and Conservation Measures
  • Building Envelope: Windows, Doors, Building Envelope, Flooring and Asbestos Abatement

Keeping energy and operational costs low was a key motivating factor for entering a partnership with OpTerra, a subsidiary of the global energy services company ENGIE. Leveraging a combination of available funding streams, the Board of Education formed unique public-private partnerships to unlock guaranteed savings opportunities and successfully compete to obtain $2.4 million in reduced-interest rate financing. The schools’ transformation was financed with a combination of QZAB (Qualified Zone Academy Bonds) and other bonds pre-approved by voters, enabling D201 to deliver more value while costing stakeholders far less.

D201 also worked with its private sector partners to compete for and successfully obtain a donation from Pulling for Kids Foundation Inc., valued at over $240,000, earmarked for the creation of a «Zone Academy.» The Zone Academy provides programs to enhance curriculum, increase graduation rates, improve employment opportunities, and better prepare students for the workplace or higher education. 

The construction of and savings generated by these solutions is estimated to have created six local FTE (full time equivalent) jobs during construction and 55 FTE jobs over 20 years.

About Dakota Community Unit School District 201:
For more information about Dakota Community Unit School District 201, visit https://www.dakota201.org/.

About OpTerra:
OpTerra works with education, local government, commercial, industrial and institutional organizations to implement sustainable solutions that save money, enhance safety, improve assets and protect the environment. As a subsidiary of ENGIE S.A., the number one energy efficiency services provider in the world, OpTerra provides a unique and extensive set of services to thousands of customers across the U.S. To learn more, please visit www.opterraenergy.com or contact Lani Wild, Communications Manager, at 415-735-9080.


Dakota 201 teacher engaged during an OpTerra STEM and energy education professional development training aligned with accessing real world learning opportunities from Dakota's new energy program.

OpTerra Energy Services: Building the Sustainable Energy Economy. (PRNewsFoto/OpTerra Energy Services)

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SOURCE OpTerra Energy Services