Discussion of energy saving and security possibilities for the Henryetta public schools was capped off with a smashing climax Monday night.
Replacing existing fluorescent lighting with new LED lights, while expensive initially, could save the school several thousands of dollars in electric costs said Buddy Hain. The head of Lighting and Service Company in Arkansas, Hain said using LED technology, the schools would save on energy costs and could benefit from rebate from energy companies amounting up to 75 percent of the cost.
"They (the energy companies) want to get power off the grid," he said. "It's cheaper for them to give out $16 million for retrofitting than to build new power plants or transmission lines."
Hain said his company would do an estimate on savings from the current use to changing over to LEDs. He explained the cost of retrofitting could be absorbed by using the savings in energy bills. "If your savings is $5,000 a month then your payments would be $3,500 a month and they would be for this period of time. At the end of that time, the product is yours."
His company did a similar project at Connors State University. They are currently working with the Creek nation on some of their buildings.
Another benefit to the school would be the noise, or hum that is associated with fluorescent lights. Often that noise is heard by children with autism and becomes a major distraction. Hain said there is none with the LED lighting. "It's higher frequency than the electronic ballasts."
Superintendent John Walker said a similar study was done some years ago but the savings amounted to 25 percent. "We're all for it, we love it, but it's the cost in trying to do it," he said. Walker said the school would share the information from that study with Hain to find the savings.
Part of Hain's study would be comparing the rate the school is paying compared with other schools across the state.

He then introduced Evan Deets and Rick Knight with the 3M company who discussed an acrylic sheet that could be placed on windows and doors to cut down heat loss. That same material is said to provide security as well.
"We make a product that not only tints windows but it is a safety and security film," Deets said. It's not only energy efficient but you can't get through it." He showed several videos showing the effects of explosives and breaking attempts through glass doors and windows. The film over the glass provided safety from glass shattering.
Knight said the film was developed some years ago when there was problems overseas with terrorist blasts. He pointed out the material is currently used in U.S. embassies around the world.
That protection also prevents a person from easily breaking through a glass door into a building. One video showed a person spending several minutes trying to break through the door. "You can put this film on and not only save energy but also protect from tornadoes," he said. "It's not bullet proof," he said.
To demonstrate first-hand the capabilities of the film, Deets had school board member Tara Matthews throw a brick at a sheet of glass backed with the film and encased in a frame.
The brick shattered the glass and did tear a hole in the film but only a small amount of glass was knocked through the film. Deets pointed out that the glass and film would have to be replaced but a person would still have a lot more effort to get through the glass.
If the school board decided to go with the film, Deets said his department would come in first and measure all windows to get a cost.

School board video highlights: