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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 4:36 am | Fair 52º


Bishop Diego High Complements Its Red Tradition with a Shade of Green

School goes all out to incorporate solar technology into campus life

Bishop Diego High School is a place where traditions have always played a big role on campus. Now, thanks to generous benefactors Aurora and Rick Grimm, a new tradition has begun with the installation of an array of solar power panels on the roof of the main gym located at the center of the 16-acre campus at 4000 La Colina Road.

The project includes 158 solar modules (SunPower 215-WHT-U) along with five SunPower SMA7000 watt inverters. Local provider SunPacific Solar installed the modules on the roof of what is affectionately known to high school sports fans as “The Brick House.”

It is expected that the new technology will reduce Bishop Diego’s dependence on traditional electrical sources by up to one third. The school will remain tied to the existing electrical grid but the introduction of this new, greener technology demonstrates Bishop’s commitment to environmental stewardship. There is a Phase II project in the works that would mirror Phase I and further enhance the school’s energy savings. Utilizing e-mail blasts for campus and alumni communication, recycling, the use of reclaimed water for irrigation, student-led BDHS Un-Plugged and other campus wide initiatives are indicative of a new way of thinking around the school.

“We have had a very busy summer on campus with lots of capital improvements under way, but with our new solar modules up and running we still have energy to spare” said Paul Harrington, Bishop’s new Head of School.

The move toward green technology syncs with the opening of Bishop’s STEM Academy. In addition to a rigorous college prep curriculum, honors and Advanced Placement classes, the STEM Academy provides students with the opportunity for a course of study emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math.

“Bishop is the first high school in Santa Barbara to install a solar electric system,” said Tom Burt, SunPacific Solar CFO and co-owner of the company with CEO Jay Johnson. “They are leading by example, teaching their students and families about alternative energy solutions for a brighter future.”

In 2010, Bishop Diego High School celebrated its 50th anniversary at the La Colina Road campus. With an enrollment of 300 students, the school offers an exceptional student/teacher ratio as well as all of the academic, extra-curricular and athletic opportunities found at larger schools in the Santa Barbara area. Proud of its Catholic heritage and traditions, Bishop also prides itself on being a school with a diverse student body where students of all faiths are welcome.

Click here for more information about Bishop Diego High.

— Ashley Snider is admissions director at Bishop Diego High School.

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