Energy Efficiency in Schools

Since 1995, TRF’s energy financing has helped charter and independent schools reduce their energy costs through the design and construction of high-performance facilities and the installation of energy efficient measures. To date, TRF has helped finance $5.4 million in energy measures in 16 schools.

When the Latin American Montessori Bilingual (LAMB) Charter School in Washington D.C. embarked on a project to renovate its new facility, TRF helped the school identify and finance energy efficiency measures that were designed to give the school a lifetime of operating budget savings.

LAMB had spent its first two years operating out of a church in the Brookland neighborhood and a third year co-located with a nearby elementary school. Finally, in 2007, LAMB acquired the 8,000 square-foot building that it had been leasing from the District of Columbia. The building was constructed as the Military Road School for African American students in 1911, which closed in 1954 following the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education desegregation case. It remained closed until LAMB entered into a lease purchase agreement with the District.

To finance the renovation of its new facility, LAMB worked with Building Hope, which invited TRF to partner on the financing, along with United Bank providing the most senior debt. TRF and these entities together supported the $6.5 million expansion.  TRF utilized a combination of its energy funds and New Markets Tax Credit-eligible funds to support the project. TRF’s energy expertise brought tremendous value to the venture as TRF identified energy efficiency measures that ultimately qualified LAMB for $1 million in low-cost financing. As a result, in addition to upgrading the facility space, LAMB was able to include energy-efficient measures such as a green roof and energy-efficient systems and lighting.

Serving children from pre-school to sixth grade, LAMB’s curriculum is devoted to Spanish language immersion for children. It is among the few dual language public charter schools nationwide.