Rep. Schakowsky Visits Students, Tours Ridgewood High Soundproofing Renovation
Ridgewood High School Creates Jobs & Saves Tens of Thousands in Energy Costs
NORRIDGE, IL (December 20, 2011) â€“ Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) visited Ridgewood High School yesterday to talk with students about the importance of civic engagement and tour the soundproofing renovations designed to mitigate the noise from nearby Oâ€™Hare International Airport. In addition, the renovations are expected to reduce the schoolâ€™s energy costs by 25%. Schakowsky helped secure the funding for the project.
â€œAfter ten years of effort, the sound insulation at Ridgewood became a reality only after we received the support of Representative Schakowsky,â€ said Dr. Robert Lupo, Superintendent of Ridgewood District 234. â€œBecause of her tenacity and commitment to our cause, Ridgewoodâ€™s students will have a school building that will be more conducive to learning and much more energy efficient. All of the members of our community â€“ present and future - owe a debt of gratitude to Rep. Schakowsky.â€
School officials say the new improvements of the 52-year old compound will help reduce distractions, facilitate a better learning environment, and estimate the school will see between $75,000 to $100,000 a year in energy cost savings. Ridgewood High School is also planning to install a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Coalition lab for a STEM program to begin next fall. About 30 to 40 construction workers have been employed to complete the renovations including installing new flooring and cabinets.
â€œNot only do these building improvements enrich the learning environment for Ridgewood students, they will create local construction-related jobs,â€ said Rep. Jan Schakowsky. â€œThe school will also save money in the long run, once again showing why it is so important to make sure our schools and buildings are energy-efficient.â€
The funding for the renovation come from the School Sound Insulation program run by the Oâ€™Hare Noise Compatibility Commission. This program, the largest of its kind in the world, is funded through the City of Chicagoâ€™s Department of Aviation and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Earlier this year, Schakowsky and President Obama included provisions in their respective job creation bills â€“ The Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act and the American Jobs Act â€“ designed to create hundreds of thousands of jobs modernizing and repairing schools across the country. In the wake of a jobs crisis, fixing up American schools can provide meaningful work while addressing critical educational and environmental needs.