William Penn School District Awarded a $7.2M Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy

LANSDOWNE, PA – July 5, 2023

On June 29th, the William Penn School District was announced as a selectee for the Renew America’s Schools grant, a funding opportunity from the Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). WPSD, along with 23 other selectees, will share $178 million in awards to support the implementation of energy improvements in schools throughout the United States. WPSD is the only district in Pennsylvania to receive this grant. The funding will be spread across fiscal years through 2026 and aims to help school communities make energy upgrades that will lower utility costs, improve indoor air quality, and foster healthier learning environments.

The Renew America’s Schools grant, made possible by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), is a first-of-its-kind competitive award that garnered unprecedented interest and engagement from schools across the country. DOE received 236 full applications from Local Education Agencies (LEAs) across 44 states. Requests totaled $1.62B. In response to high demand and overwhelming evidence of need, DOE doubled the funds available in the first round of the competition from $80 million to $178 million.

The William Penn School District will receive $7.2M to fund a high-efficiency upgrade of Penn Wood High School – Cypress Street Campus located in Yeadon. The building, which currently houses the Ninth Grade Academy, was constructed in 1947 and suffers from deferred maintenance. This grant will provide funds for a comprehensive HVAC upgrade, the installation of a Building Automation System (BAS) which will provide controlled heating and cooling, and an upgrade of lighting systems to high-efficiency LEDs. This work will move the school toward 100% electrification, cutting gas consumption by 97%. This will benefit students, teachers, staff, and families by improving air quality, thermal comfort, and lighting while lowering energy costs. The project will also help educate students about energy generation, environmental impacts, engineering principles, and new technologies. The district has also received Pennsylvania state funding and American Rescue Plan Act funding to improve ventilation systems at the school.

“The William Penn School District is grateful to receive funds that will help us achieve our strategic goals for our facilities. We are grateful to the Biden-Harris administration for providing this opportunity,” said Dr. Eric J. Becoats, superintendent of schools. “Our students, staff, and School Board Directors are very appreciative.”

Follow along as WPSD moves through the award process to see the impact that these funds will make at https://www.energy.gov/scep/renew-americas-schools.