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Douglas County School District Reduces Energy Costs

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McKinstry and Douglas County School District (DCSD) are set to begin construction on planned facility improvements that will reduce the district’s energy and operational costs by $248,177 a year.

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Construction will take place at ThunderRidge High School and the Wilcox Building later this month. This is the second phase of an energy savings program involving McKinstry and DCSD, which began in 2013. Construction for the new phase is expected to be completed in September. 

The total cost of phase two is $4.72 million, which includes a one-time utility rebate of $173,881. The project will accomplish $2.1-million worth of previously unfunded capital improvement projects. The annual savings generated will more than pay for the initial cost of the project. 

ThunderRidge High will receive chiller replacements and lighting upgrades, with the Wilcox Building receiving boiler and chiller replacements and new window film. McKinstry will install control for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in both buildings. The project also includes water saving measures such as low-flow faucets and shower-heads, automatic flush sensors, and the tuning of flush valves in restrooms. 

The upgrades will reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from the district by 230 tons annually, the rough equivalent of the carbon dioxide produced from 44 passenger vehicles in a year.
The $248,177 in expected savings from phase two is in addition to an estimated $378,620 from phase one delivered by McKinstry in 2013.

The two projects combined are estimated to save the district $626,797 annually.
Eleven additional schools in DCSD—seven elementary schools, three middle schools and one high school—are included in McKinstry’s program to generate additional energy savings. These schools were included in phase one of the energy savings program, and as part of phase two, will see lighting upgrades and water efficiency measures.

“Our continued work with McKinstry furthers our commitment to sustainability,” says Lee Smit, sustainability manager for DCSD. “These facility improvements will benefit our students, staff and community for years to come.”


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