Fayette school utility costs decrease with new building 10.06

Written by David Green.

$100,000 a month? Just for utilities at Fayette’s new school?

That’s hardly the case, but it’s a statement recently heard over a cup of coffee, said school district treasurer Kelly Bentley.

She decided a rumor of that nature was in need of some facts—especially for a new school built with some energy efficiency measures—so she compared utility costs from recent years.

The figures she found don’t take into account any increases in the cost of electricity, natural gas and water, nor in the quantity used. It’s simply a comparison of what the district has spent for utilities during the past nine years.

What she found is that despite rising costs, the district is spending less now than in the past.

Before the new school was built, the district was operating two buildings with large boilers for heating.

“We are now operating one building with electric heat pumps that are energy efficient and use considerably less water than the old boiler systems,” Bentley said. “We no longer use the same amount of natural gas to heat the new structure as we did with the two separate buildings.”

Comparing the combination of electricity, gas and water, the district is now averaging $8,400 a month—less than in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The figures from 2007, 2008 and part of 2009 include construction site utilities and costs have dropped off in 2010.

During 2009—the first full year in the new building—there was a learning curve in becoming acquainted with the new system and learning the control settings, Bentley said.

“I would conclude that the new building has nine percent less utility operating costs than the combination of the two structures in 2006,” she said.

More savings are on the horizon with the wind turbine that should be in operation by the end of the year. Estimates suggest the district will save between 40 and 50 percent of electrical costs when the turbine begins spinning.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016