Tidbits - June 2024

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announces that 15 school districts across Minnesota will benefit from the 2023 Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, funded by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. The program will help Minnesota accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles and to replace existing school buses, which have been linked to asthma and other conditions that harm the health of students and surrounding communities. St. Paul Public School District has been selected to receive $8,685,000 in rebate funding to purchase 25 clean school buses.
This third round of funding will build on the previous almost $2 billion investment via the 2022 Rebates and 2023 Grants to further improve air quality in and around schools, reduce greenhouse gas pollution fueling the climate crisis, and help accelerate America’s leadership in developing the clean vehicles of the future. EPA is currently accepting applications for the 2024 Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program until 11:59 PM ET on July 25, 2024.
Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) celebrated the groundbreaking for the remodeling of Hidden River Middle School on May 23, 2024.
Originally built in 1924, the school’s renovation and addition will create a new Summit Avenue entrance for the school. Design features include undulating metal fins on the exterior to provide shade while echoing the movement of water to reflect the school’s name. 
With the school’s location in the historic Summit Hill neighborhood, the exterior design had to be approved by the City of Saint Paul’s Heritage Preservation Commission. 
Hidden River Middle School will become the third SPPS school to install geothermal technology to heat and cool the building, and the second school to leverage a natural aquifer – the “hidden river” – under the school to fuel the system. 
Other energy efficiencies include high-performing air handling units with energy recovery, and energy-efficient LED light fixtures and lighting controls. Environmental features also include insulating existing exterior walls and roofs as well as replacing windows to improve energy performance and comfort. Sustainable materials such as linoleum flooring in classrooms and terrazzo flooring in corridors will be installed throughout the facility. 
Construction starts this summer and is set to be completed by fall 2025. To speed up the remodeling timeline by two years, the school community will temporarily move to the Wilson building (631 Albert St. N.) during construction.


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