Hayes Hall is getting a green makeover, and students and faculty will reap benefits in enhanced learning opportunities. The project is the result of BGSU’s successful application for an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant.
BGSU will receive $911,658 to upgrade the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in Hayes. Energy-efficient lighting will also be installed, along with a computer-based building management system to control lights and temperature.
“It’s one of those programs that, fortunately, we were able to take advantage of,” said Tim Burns, senior project manager in the Office of Design and Construction. “This is the first time I’ve had a grant like this go through, and it took a lot of effort between many different departments. We’re looking forward to getting started.”
The project pays off for the University in other ways besides the cost savings from the energy upgrades and the lighter environmental impact. Money from the grant will also be used toward a number of educational opportunities for both students and staff in sustainability and energy-efficient design.
Dr. Nick Hennessy, campus sustainability coordinator, will oversee this component, including the creation of capstone or other academic classes and research in environmental policy, energy or technology with faculty members, staff and students.
“Students and faculty can examine this project from beginning to end,” he explained. “They will also be able to learn valuable technological design, policy and project-planning skills as well as get hands-on learning in green technology and design.”
Hennessy will present the results of the project to the other Ohio state universities within the University System of Ohio Sustainability area.
Construction at Hayes Hall is scheduled to begin in August, with a completion date of October 2011.
The projects were selected through a competitive review process based on several criteria to fulfill program objectives: project readiness to ensure completion by July 20, 2012; reduction in energy usage and fossil fuel emissions, and direct economic impact in Ohio to create and retain jobs.