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Hawaii Preparatory Academy receives $1.5 million energy conservation grant

Hawaii Preparatory Academy announced the receipt of a $1.5 million grant to continue the school’s growing academic reputation in the field of sustainability and energy conservation studies. The grant is the result of the generosity of alumnus James C. Kennedy, chairman of Cox Enterprises, Inc., an Atlanta-based communications firm. Kennedy, a 1966 graduate of HPA, funded “Go Green,” the school’s first environmental studies program, with a gift of $1 million in 2008.

“With this magnificent gift, we will have the resources to continue the march toward our goal of being the independent school leader in sustainable energy studies,” HPA Headmaster Lindsay Barnes said. “Moreover, we will be taking a huge step toward proving to the educational world that the marriage of energy conservation and renewable energy production is, indeed, the future. And what better place for this to occur than the island of Hawaii?”

HPA officials soon will begin to prioritize the numerous projects to be financed by The Kennedy Fund. The projects will encompass all areas of HPA’s operations, including electrical, water heating, lighting-related conservation, and data analysis. Additional solar thermal panels throughout the campus, a new 480-panel photovoltaic energy production facility, and new LED lighting retrofits are examples of installations on the horizon at HPA.

HPA students will be active participants in projects made possible by The Kennedy Fund, particularly in analyzing the efficiency of the new initiatives.

“This is one of the truly exciting parts,” said Dr. Bill Wiecking, director of HPA’s award-winning Energy Lab. “Not only will we be doing for HPA what’s never been done, but we’ll be producing graduates whose knowledge of sustainable practices and energy conservation will be on the cutting edge. Our Class of 2014 admissions to MIT, Stanford, Brown, Yale, Duke, Olin, and other great schools already prove that we’re on the right track in giving motivated students that ‘little extra’ needed to gain admission to their first-choice colleges and universities. What Mr. Kennedy’s gift means to our students’ college admissions prospects simply cannot be overstated.”

“I’m very happy to be able to assist my alma mater in this vitally important way,” said Kennedy. “I look forward to learning of progress as the projects take root. My hope is that this will be yet another step forward toward HPA becoming the ‘greenest’ independent school in the world.”