Superintendent David Cash is advocating for a change of lighting equipment in Pawhuska Public Schools instructional buildings from fluorescent lights to LED lights.

Cash recently told the Board of Education that making the switch will have both health and financial benefits. He indicated in a followup interview that he anticipates having a proposal ready for the board in September.

If the school district is able to make the lighting switch before Thanksgiving, it might save as much as $20,000 in 2018-19 to apply toward the conversion cost, Cash said. Pawhuska Public Schools should cover the entire conversion cost by about the fourth year, he said. After that, the schools should simply be saving about $30,000 or more per year that would otherwise have gone for lighting costs, he said.

Another cost area where there should be savings is maintenance of lighting equipment, he said.

“We won’t touch a bulb for 10-15 years,” Cash said. In addition to the financial consideration, he is seeking this change for the good of the students.

“There’s as magnetic field that radiates off these fluorescent bulbs,” Cash said, commenting that it just isn’t good for young children and special-needs students. “There is a health benefit to getting away from them.”

Cash clarified he’s not talking about replacing lights at athletic fields, which would be cost-prohibitive.