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On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, under a sunny early evening sky, about 50 people including lots of local dignitaries gathered on the lawn in front of Buckley Elementary School for a groundbreaking ceremony signaling the start of an approximately $28 million renovation project that will make Buckley the first ‘net zero energy’ public school building in the state.
“This is a great day,” Mayor Jay Moran said before adding “and there’s no better way to celebrate than digging some dirt.” And that’s what he and others soon did, donning safety vests and hard hats and grabbing shiny golden shovels to overturn soil from a pre-placed mound.
In 14 months, Buckley will have photovoltaic panels on the roof, a rotating, pedal-fanning ‘solar smart flower’ out front, heating and cooling systems that are tied into geothermal wells, with these and other features ensuring that the total amount of energy used at the site will on an annual basis be equal to the amount of renewable energy created there.
The renovation will take 14 months and concurrently there are other ambitious projects underway in town as Manchester is taking advantage of unprecedented, arguably-best-in-the-country industry incentives to upgrade its building infrastructure by implementing sustainability initiatives, such as energy efficient technologies.