Village Schools
Waibel's project manager Rodney Rhoades inspects a highly-efficient new mechanical cooling unit to be installed on the roof of the McKinney school. New HVAC systems are just one component of an energy-efficiency overhaul at the schools. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

Waibel's existing buildings sales manager Rodney Rhoades inspects a highly-efficient mechanical cooling unit to be installed on the roof of the McKinney school. New HVAC systems are just one component of an energy-efficiency overhaul at the schools. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

Schools get a “green” makeover

New for the 2010 school year is an energy-efficiency makeover at all three school buildings and an energy curriculum to match.

Funded by a $33,977 grant from the Dayton regional Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics hub, known as STEM, the curriculum includes activities where students learn how to conserve energy in the classroom.

“It’s really learning by doing other than absorbing something through a textbook,” said school board member Benji Maruyama, who spearheaded the STEM grant proposal. “It’s to have kids learn conservation in the schools, the effectiveness of behavior, turning off lights, turning down thermostats.”

Energy upgrades to the buildings include a solar hot water installation, brand new fluorescent lighting, solar shades, daylighting and ventilation skylights and heat pump-based heating and cooling systems. In addition, advanced controls and data monitoring will ensure systems work to their highest efficiency.

Solar shades will soon adorn the southern facade of the high school to cut the demand for mechanical cooling. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

Solar shades will soon adorn the southern facade of the high school to cut the demand for mechanical cooling. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

Waibel Energy Systems, the contractor hired to implement the energy-efficiency measures, estimates that the building improvements will save the district 139,833 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 477 million BTUs of natural gas per year, which translates into a cost savings of $43,430, with an additional $18,625 per year in maintenance savings.

“They were spending money in places where they didn’t need to,” said Rodney Rhoades, Waibel’s existing buildings sales manager. “Yellow Springs as a district was willing to go above and beyond.”

For a full story on the new energy improvements and the STEM grant, see the August 19 edition of the Yellow Springs News.

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