Jerry Gamble Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities- Lighting Project (with Video!)

Published August 2022 by Emily Cieszynski

“Working with The Retrofit Companies is a one-stop shop. It’s everything that you need for lighting, and it’s taken care of from start to finish.”

Doug Shellum, Director of Facilities at Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities

Retrofit Lighting & Design upgraded the exterior lighting & interior lighting at the Jerry Gamble Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities. We were able to improve the lighting quality and create a better environment for the kids, while also lowering the energy costs for the building. This upgrade created a $7,000 a year savings on an energy basis!

The major pain points addressed in this project included poor light levels, maintenance headaches and costs, safety and security issues, and an unwelcoming environment. There was also a need for help with understanding and applying for rebates and grants. With the help of our team, the Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities was able to save $38,826 on this project through grants and rebates! This cut the cost of the project in half!

We added lighting controls, so the lights in the building are on a timer, and there is no worry about turning the light switch off. These controls will provide additional energy and cost savings! For a nonprofit organization, saving money is extremely beneficial and allows for that money to be put to better use.

“Every space was really changed and transformed because of the lighting upgrade.”

-Doug Shellum, Director of Facilities at Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities

Inadequate lighting at the Jerry Gamble Boys & Girls Club introduced safety and wellbeing concerns. “Knowing that the kids come here for a place of safety and a place to get away, it’s really important to have a nice safety feature so that they can see to get in and see to get out and really feel safe once they are here” said Doug Shellum, the Director of Facilities at the Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities. Upgrading the lighting outside allows for the security cameras to capture quality video and creates a better environment for the kids entering and exiting the building. Safety is very important for the Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities and lighting plays an important role in keeping the environment at the club safe.

As for the interior lighting, the environment was completely transformed. The club includes a variety of spaces like art rooms, computer rooms, gaming rooms, kitchens, workout rooms, offices, and a gym. All of these spaces received an upgrade in lighting, and the new lighting impacted the kids in an amazing way. Doug Shellum noted that “They can actually see their paper on the table and really be able to focus on their studies and have a place to come and be safe and learn.” Eye strain, trouble reading, and trouble concentrating are all possible outcomes of poor lighting. In a 2018 study of 427 students, students found LED lights to be more stimulating, comfortable, and attractive. The goal of the Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities prioritizes three outcomes: Academic Success, Good Character & Leadership, and Healthy Lifestyles. By improving the lighting, the kids are now in an environment that allows them to better accomplish this goal.

“I look at this as an investment for the kids, for the future.”

-Doug Shellum, Director of Facilities at Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities