Area Tech School Goes Green

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An area tech school initiated two programs to help students learn and save taxpayer dollars. It involves alternative energy. Washington- Holmes Technical Center has been working on alternative energy programs that impact both inside and outside the classroom.

School officials are retrofitting the facility with numerous updated utility features, including light fixtures and bulbs and H VAC systems. Additionally, Gulf Power donated around $47,000 worth of solar panels to power several buildings on the campus.

The solar and energy conservation projects are expected to save the school money, while also decreasing its carbon footprint. But, the projects have also turned a light bulb on in student's minds.

The tech center plans to offer solar energy and panel installation courses starting next semester. But, student William Watkins got a head start. Last week, he worked with crews and helped install the panels.

"It was kind of intimidating holding the solar panels" Watkins said. He told us the panels "put out a lot of amps. Just one panel puts out seven amps and it only takes 0.3 amps to kill you" he said. Watkins has been enrolled in computer and electrical courses but is now rethinking his career options.

Watkins said he hopes to one day run a solar energy plant and use his computer and electrical skills to run the wiring and program the computers.

Technical Center Director, Martha Compton said, the environmental projects could lead students to jobs they've never before dreamed of. "They can see that companies that are housed in Texas can have work in the panhandle" Compton said.

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