For the fifth year in a row, Manteca Unified School District will observe a two-week summer shutdown. That means the district office will be closed to the public for the duration from June 30 to July 11.
This is an energy-saving practice that has reduced electrical consumption by 50 to 60 percent throughout the district, said Victoria Brunn, coordinator of the district’s Sustainability and Energy Education.
This summer shutdown is actually the time when the district realizes its “greatest energy savings,” she said.
The summer shutdown does not just mean turning off electric switches. It involves a series of steps that is aimed at making sure every school building and room in the district does not have any “leaks” where power could be wasted.
District energy technician Tony Barros on Friday started the “auditing process of going through every custodial closet” at every school, and inspecting “every nook and cranny to make sure that everything is shut down,” Brunn explained. Barros is working alongside custodians at every campus to make this happen, she added.
In the Nutrition Services department, all walk-in and reach-in refrigeration units and freezers also have to be shut down. All the district’s home economics teachers and consumer education teachers likewise are moving all food and consolidating them into one campus. Normally, they may use two to three refrigeration equipment and freezers; during the summer, they narrow that number down to one refrigerator and one freezer, Brunn said.
Finally, all custodians at every school site go through all the buildings and shutdown each mechanical equipment piece and all thermostats, “which is a whole process by itself,” said Brunn.