School board considers energy upgrades

Monday, October 8, 2007 | 11:51 p.m. CDT; updated 4:26 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

COLUMBIA — The Columbia School Board voted Monday to consider a more environmentally friendly heating and cooling system as part of a proposal to upgrade the energy efficiency of five elementary schools.

The original plan to improve energy efficiency called for a four-pipe heating and cooling system or rooftop heating and cooling units. But Custom Energy, an architectural engineering firm hired by the district, recommended a ground source heating and cooling system to give the elementary schools better long-term energy efficiency, despite a higher initial cost.

Benton, Blue Ridge, Fairview, Parkade and Boulevard elementary schools will be upgraded.

The board will review the administration’s financing options for the improvements at a later date.

Koby Kampschroeder, of Custom Energy, gave the board details of the energy audit and possible construction plans.

In other business:

  • The board approved student transportation routes for the 2007-2008 academic year. Some board members expressed concern that an increased number of students now have hour-long bus rides. Board members requested more information.
  • Jack Jensen, chairman of the Elementary Construction Steering Committee, updated the board on the elementary school that will be built on a future extension of Waco Road. He said the next steps in designing the elementary school are to finish the program design phase, approve external elevations and begin construction documents.
  • Elementary Enrollment Planning Committee Chairman Don Ludwig updated the board on the committee’s progress in setting boundaries for the new elementary school. Ludwig said the committee will hold forums at elementary schools this month to hear community opinions. A complete list of forums can be found on the school board's Web site.
  • The school board will meet next with Columbia and Boone County officials at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday in the school district’s administration building, 1818 W. Worley St.

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