Why no plan for solar panels at Dumbarton Middle School? [Letter]

As a longtime educator and Rodgers Forge resident, I was excited to read in Nov. 11 article by Jon Meoli that Dumbarton Middle School in Towson will get a renovation. Yet I was shocked that solar panel roofs weren't an integral part of the initial plan of the firm, Smolen Emr Ilkovitch Architects.

Maryland and Baltimore County will spend $27.5 million in taxpayer money on this renovation. By installing solar panel rooftops, we will have a rare chance to do many good things at once: making renewable electricity a priority in a celebrated public school, ensure cost savings in ongoing school operating costs, and offer hopeful 21st century experiential learning opportunities for students. Even Towson's new YMCA is LEEDS-certified with solar-ready rooftops. I predict that solar panels will be installed soon.

Maryland is already in the lead in two crucial ways: another older public school, University Park Elementary School recently installed solar panel rooftops and is already reaping financial rewards. Additionally, Prince George's County just passed a precedent-setting clean energy bill requiring all its government buildings to run on renewable energy. This may be a first in the country.

If Rockville-based Smolen Emr Ilkovitch Architects lacks knowledge about excellent quality solar panel rooftop installation, local architects and engineers with such expertise abound.

It's time for solar panel rooftops on a renovated Dumbarton Middle School. Let's do this for our kids.

Diane Wittner

Rodgers Forge

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