SJB picks alternate school solar project

Panels will be ‘least impact’ to San Juan School field

The Aromas-San Juan Unified School District’s Board of Trustees has approved an alternative plan for the positioning of solar panels in the playing field at San Juan School as part of a three-school energy conservation project.

The board, after taking in concerns from the local San Juan School community and reviewing all options, last month approved “a version that was least impactful” to the playing field, according to one trustee.

District staff will also work with the solar installation company, ENGIE Services U.S. Inc., to assess whether the panels can be placed in front of the school gym and out to the school parking lot to possibly keep the San Juan playing field intact.

Earlier in May, the board approved a $358,600 contract with ENGIE Services for the installation of solar panels at Anzar High School (2000 San Juan Highway in San Juan Bautista), Aromas School (365 Vega St. in Aromas) and San Juan School (100 Nyland Drive in San Juan Bautista).

However, members of the San Juan school community—including parent and former school board trustee Jose Flores—did not want the panels to be put on the playing field. Flores’ two children helped get 151 signatures from San Juan students and staff on a petition that opposed the solar panel installation in the field.

At Anzar and Aromas, the solar panels will be located in parking lots and not in the playing field, where they’ll be placed at San Juan School. A facilities committee meeting was held May 14 to further discuss the San Juan portion of the energy conservation project before the board voted May 23.

At San Juan, two of the options are to install “approximately 650 linear feet of permanent perimeter chain link fencing to the east, west and south, 6feet in height, around the solar PV installation, which will tie to the existing fence to the north,” according to the contract.

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