UPDATED: December 22, 2015
"Keep Laie Cool" is a grassroots initiative formed by concerned parents, students, teachers, and community members to solve the HEAT PROBLEM at Laie Elementary School.
- Temperatures in classroom soar between 85-100 degrees, with humidity levels ranging from 80-90%. This equals temperatures that feel in the high 90's to 100's. In one classroom at 10:00 AM in the morning it was 90 degrees with 90% humidity, which felt like 121 degrees. The children, teachers, and staff are suffering in these stifling classrooms for 5-6 hours a day and need help.
- Around the state of Hawaii children and teachers are getting sick with nose bleeds, nausea, vomiting, heat exhaustion, muscle aches, dehydration, and heat rash.
- When asked how a HOT classroom affects them, some children at Laie Elementary reported:
- Feel dizzy during and after school.
- Feel sticky and uncomfortable.
- 8 fans in class, but still feel hot.
- Feel sleepy and it’s hard to concentrate.
- Feel tired and exhausted by the end of day.
- Sometimes the heat gives me headaches.
- Sweating all day.
- Laie Elementary School was founded in 1895 and is one of the oldest schools on the island. Laie's electrical system CANNOT handle donations of window and portable air conditioners.
- Hawaii Department of Education estimates it will cost $110,000 PER CLASSROOM for an electrical upgrade.
- There are 686 children at Laie Elementary School.
- Laie Elementary School is NOT on any heat abatement program priority list for the Hawaii Department of Education (HDOE) nor the Hawaii State Legislature (due to the coastal location of the school). In fact on the state’s priority list, Laie is 7th from the bottom of 186 schools, meaning nothing is scheduled to be done to help Laie Elementary School.
- Since 94% of Hawaii schools do NOT have air conditions we must seek community, business, and individual donor support.
- Donations of fans are helping, but the temperature in the classroom remains the same. In addition, donations of window or portable air conditions are not possible due age of the current electrical system.
Our committee has come up with some immediate and long-term solutions to cool Laie Elementary. For about $2800 Buildings E and F were cooled about 12 degrees through fiberglass spray insulation. We now need support to cool the rest of the school with projects to be completed before the end of 2015.
Immediate Fixes (Completed before the end of 2015-2016 school year.)
- Phase 1—COMPLETED
- All Buildings: “Top Ten Cooling Tips” Handout for teachers to cool classrooms. [COMPLETED 10/14/15.]
- E and F Buildings: Installation of fiberglass spray insulation between roof and ceilings of buildings. [COMPLETED 10/7-10/8. Result: 6-12 degrees cooler.]
- Phase 2 – Scheduled for February 2016
- ALL Buildings: “Reflective Ceramic Paint” painted on ALL Buildings.
- ALL Buildings: Planting of Trees on Camps
Long-term Fixes (Completed by the end of the 2015-2016 school year.)
- Phase 3 – Installation of photovoltaic air conditioners (PVAC) during Christmas Break.
- Phase 4 – Installation of the remaining PVAC units during March, April, and May.
- Priority installation will go to buildings with the hottest temperatures and lack of air flow.
- PV AC is the solution that the HDOE has encouraged all schools to consider, since 94% of schools do not have air conditioning.
Not only will you be helping the children of Laie Elementary School but also your donations may be considered “tax exempt” and qualify for a tax deduction and energy credit.
Donations may be tax exempt and will be given to “Keep Laie Cool” via the Parent Teaching Community Organization (PTCO), the nonprofit entity of the school. The Laie Elementary Parent Teacher Community Organization (PTCO) is a registered 501(c)(3) and the Employer Identification Number (EIN) is: 99-0341199.
Donations used to purchase PV AC’s may qualify for a Federal and State Energy Credit.
- Federal Energy Credit
- You may qualify for 30% of the cost for the solar equipment and installation purchased, with no cap. This credit will expire on December 31, 2016.
- Hawaii State Energy Credit
- For the Hawaii state you qualify for 35% of the cost of the equipment and installation or up to $500,000 per system (includes the solar panels, air conditioners, batteries, and re-wiring). For more information visit the Hawaii Department of Taxation site, www.hawaii.gov/tax, to download the N-342 form and instructions to see if you qualify for a state renewable energy tax credit.
*Please use this tax information as a guide, and consult a tax advisor for professional guidance.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Jennifer Kajiyama or Carol Feinga at [email protected]
Facebook Page: facebook.com/KeepLaieCool