Boston – International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 103 electrical worker volunteers recently installed new LED lights at the Rafael Hernández Dual Language K-8 School in Roxbury.
The upgrades done at the Hernández School are the first of a series of work projects IBEW Local 103 plans to donate to schools in need throughout the city. “We consider it our duty to give back to our community and we are always proud to do so, especially our public schools that are chronically under-resourced,” said IBEW Local 103 business manager/financial secretary, Lou Antonellis.
When Local 103 leaders learned from school administrators that lighting at the dual language school was among a list of substandard facilities, they recruited volunteer electricians as well as signatory electrical contractor Lynnwell Associates, which performs routine maintenance at Boston Public Schools, and Standard Electric, an electrical supply company that partners with Eversource on a credit program helping to replace old lighting with new LED lighting.
The group assessed the Hernández school to determine how to optimize electrical and lighting upgrades at no cost to the school. Local 103 and Lynnwell drafted plans and procured approval by the school, secured 20 volunteers to donate labor, and provided all tools and equipment.
The volunteers completed the work over two phases. The team completed the first phase over April vacation, upgrading 19 classrooms with an average of 12 new light fixtures per room. Local 103 and Lynnwell returned to the school in August to upgrade lighting in offices, the cafeteria and other rooms.
“Our students will be thrilled to return from break to brighter classrooms thanks to the generosity of IBEW Local 103 electrical workers, Lynnwell Associates, Eversource and Standard Electric,” said Hernández School principal, Ana Carolina Brito. “It’s encouraging to see others in the community step up to support our school as we, like many urban schools, struggle to secure resources for proper upkeep and maintenance. Having well-lit learning environments is essential to success and we are so thankful to the union.”
“Many of our members attended Boston Public Schools or have children in the schools, which are the building blocks of our communities. As we build a better Boston, we must invest in our public schools so students can grow and thrive,” added Antonellis.