Five Columbia schools receive Energy Star Award

Thursday, March 11, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA ­— With five new Energy Star Awards, Columbia’s energy efficient schools received an A+.

On Monday, five elementary schools were recognized for advanced energy performance and received the award from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The schools are:

  • Benton
  • Blue Ridge
  • Fairview
  • Parkade
  • Russell Boulevard

Including previous winners Lange, Smithton and Gentry middle schools, Columbia has eight of the 26 energy star rated schools statewide. There are 2,500 K-12 schools in Missouri.

With a $7.2 million bond, approved by voters in 2007, Columbia schools finished air-conditioning and energy projects. These schools were placed in the top 90th percentile of energy efficient schools in the United States. “We were very proud that Columbia was recognized for its energy efficiency efforts,“ said Nick Boren, district chief operations officer.

The Energy Star-labeled schools use an average of 35 percent less energy and release 35 percent less carbon dioxide than non-Energy Star schools.

Some of the upgrades include energy management systems, ground source heat pump systems, window replacements and electrical power upgrades. The district completed the projects in the summer of 2008. All five schools spent less money during the 2008-2009 school year by saving on energy expenses. 

With the upcoming April 6 election, a new bond proposal, which includes the construction of a new high school, will strive to improve air conditioners and heaters in eight other schools.

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