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Writing Grants to Change Lives

Capitalizing on a once-in-a-lifetime funding opportunity to help school communities make energy upgrades.
TVA EnergyRight®
10 Months

The mission

The average age of school buildings in the U.S. is around 45 years. Hundreds of these schools have experienced decades of deferred maintenance and consistently lack access to funding to support the upgrades needed to invest in these pillars of the community. One symptom of this is schools are often too hot in the spring and early fall, and too cold in the winter — driving up absenteeism and impacting the health of students, teachers, and staff.

So, when the Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Renew America’s Schools Program, which allocates $500 million to help K-12 public schools make clean energy improvements, we knew our grants team would have their work cut out for them.

Through our work with Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) School Uplift Program, and in partnership with other consultants, we developed a short-list of targeted schools in TVA’s seven-state service area and submitted twelve concept papers. Of the twelve schools, DOE “encouraged” four to submit a full application.

After this stage, we were made aware that there were an additional four schools in Tennessee, beyond the original twelve, that had also received an “encourage” and were interested in partnering with Milepost to develop and submit full applications.

Renew America's Schools

What we did

  • Data collection

  • Proposal development

  • Research

  • Engagement strategy 

  • Project management

  • Stakeholder identification and outreach

  • Coordinated efforts with internal stakeholders

The results

grants-map2Of the 1,000+ applications submitted nationwide, DOE selected just 24 schools to receive a highly competitive grant award. We were ecstatic to learn that one of the schools we supported, Weir Elementary School in Choctaw County, Mississippi, was selected to receive $774,915 in federal funding. Grant funds will be used by Weir Elementary School to: 

•   Invest in a building automation system 
•   Update several HVAC systems 
•   Install new windows
•   Improve insulation and ceilings 
•   Switch to LED lighting (interior and exterior) 

These upgrades are a huge win for Weir Elementary School and Choctaw County. Students will now have the opportunity to attend a modernized, well-lit, and energy-efficient school — bolstering learning outcomes for the next generation.