Students from Maplewood Career Center help light Waterloo

Maplewood Career Center students preparing to replace Waterloo's outdated fluorescent lights. Dave Dreimiller/The Portager

Waterloo Local Schools K-12 campus in Atwater is undergoing a major upgrade in its lighting system.

One of the Maplewood student crews. Dave Dreimiller/The Portager

High school junior and senior students from the electrical program at Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna are assisting First Choice Electrical Solutions from Alliance in retrofitting the school’s old fluorescent lighting with LEDs.

According to superintendent Angela Terella, it’s a wonderful collaboration between the two schools providing on-the-job experience for the Maplewood electrical trainees while updating Waterloo’s outdated lighting systems.

The project is being funded by a grant through FirstEnergy Corporation; they provide the materials while the school covers the labor. The Maplewood crew is supervised onsite by electrical program instructor Joe Svonavec. Their work is coordinated by Waterloo’s Facilities Director Barb Rach.

Dave Dreimiller/The Portager

Rach noted that 490 interior light fixtures have been upgraded so far, 210 of these were completed by students from Maplewood. She estimates future cost savings on electrical bills will be in the thousands of dollars.

Maplewood crews worked in the gym locker rooms in near total darkness, with the power switched off for safety. The new LED tubes were handed up to students working in the ceiling fixtures after the old fluorescents and ballasts had been removed.

Svonavec said that the ballasts were being recycled as scrap metal and the glass tubes were being disposed of through an environmentally friendly process that isolates the dust and mercury vapor.

Dave Dreimiller
+ posts