It's nice idea for your school, I wish I can do that to my school too.
Add ko na din, since TIME base (plus manual access) and Turn on at saka off ng mga lights and Electric Fan (wala ata aircon, diba), puwde muna rin siguro idagdag ang Synchronized TIME sa buong school niyo, i hope you buy the idea.
Ano ba ang deal dito, kayo lang ang gagawa at bawal ang coaching or help from outside? Sana hindi, kasi kahit iyong mga nasa R&D mismo, hindi naman sila-sila lang ang gumagawa, mayroon pa rin support sa mga chipset makers or minsan kumukuha ng 3rd aprty developer.
The hard question is, paano simulan?
If you like to follow our systems of product Development, you are welcome. Start with [LDS 1]Feasibility Study <market drive>, Features / Requirements.
1. Start defining what you want, the features of your project. Ilang ilaw ang i-con trol, ilang Electric fan ang i-control, what are the other features? Write it down- and called this as Project Features List.
2. Write again a documents which is called Project Specifications, this will described what platform you will going to use, say, ang project ay kino-control ng PC, o kaya MCU na 8051, PIC, AVR, Toshiba, NEC, Samsung, etc..... Ito ay may display na touch Screen LCD o kaya 16x2 LCD na blue backlight, mayroon 4 switch sa programming, may back up battery, may case na fiber glass, bla bla bla....... isulat mo lahat ng gusto mo.
After you defined these thing, you can have a rought estimate kung magkano ang magagastos, try to ask sombody how much is the LCD, how much is the MCU, how much is the case, etc.... then you can have a Bill-Of-Material cost (BOM cost).
3. After you finished all, get your classmates and have a final review of the paperworks, all of the above are estimated, they are not actual cost -- it comes with "+" and "-", but, you have now an idea of what your intended project is all about in terms of Technical and price.
Get the specifications and technicalities "streamline", cut off what is unnecessary, someone suggest a security features, Iam suggesting a Synchronized Time in your school, well, its your choice. My advice is, take it 1....2....3 step by step. Get the main features done first, after that, you can include other features.
Fo your reference on the Technical Specification, you might like to see the ebook on page 147 : Simple MicroController Programming Part 3, you can downloaded it http://www.1diycentre.com/Simple_MCU_Programming_Part%203.pdf
Please do not bypass the above suggestion, it will bring you to success. This is our Ladder Systems of Product Development. So what's next? It is [LDS 2] Engineering Design /Sample, prototyping. Before you go to this stage, make it sure that all your groupmates understand all the technicalities and that, all of you will agree (if not vote it by majority) so that when things goes wrong, no one will going to blame.
Good Luck... and I hope to see of anything you can come up with. btw, my assessment of your project is not difficult or easy, it is Interesting and I am glad you are doing it for you school.