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Minnetonka Goes Green
Minnetonka Goes Green

Over the past few years, the Minnetonka has made sustainability a top priority. From renewable energy to LED lighting, the school district is taking steps everyday to save both financially and environmentally.

"We have energy-saving and electricity-saving strategies in everything we do," says Paul Bourgeois, Executive Director of Finance and Operations for the district. "It actually saves money over the long term, in addition to being beneficial to the environment."

Minnetonka is working towards getting all of its energy from wind and solar sources. So far, district buildings including Minnetonka High School, Minnetonka Community Education Center, the District Service Center and the District Technology Center have all converted to 100% renewable energy under the Xcel Energy Renewable Connect program. Additionally, the elementary and middle schools are in the midst of signing off on renewable energy contracts with Community Solar Garden. Once this is done, Minnetonka's electricity will be sourced entirely from wind and solar, and the district will actually save money in the process.

The district has also significantly reduced its overall energy usage by converting to LED lighting. First, lights in the parking lot were switched from 480-watt metal halide bulbs to 90-watt LED bulbs 8 years ago. Next came outdoor security lights, and then eventually indoor lighting.

"We are switching all of our lights over to LED as fast as we can fund them," comments Mr. Bourgeois.

Indeed, so far all elementary schools as well as MME have converted to all LED, with MMW hoping to be completed within the next 2-3 months. Many areas of the high schoolsuch as hallways, gyms, and the cafeteriaare also lit with LED lighting.

In 2013 the Minnetonka School District earned EPA Energy Star Leader Status, a very rare designation.

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Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As the national COVID-19 pandemic continues, experts say it is more important than ever to recognize the strain on mental health that people are experiencing due to increased separation and worry. The District continues to show support by sharing tips, tools and resources, as well as by featuring strong community partners.