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BC Breaks Ground for New Heat Plant

BC officials held a ceremony marking the beginning of construction for the new heat plant at noon on February 25 in the Goldthwait Agriculture Building.

Artistic illustration of BC's heat plant.

The ceremony included exhibits detailing the features of the new heat plant, as well as remarks from Berea College President Larry D. Shinn, Berea Trustee David Welch, chair the Building and Grounds Committee, and faculty member James Dontje.

Using "ground- breaking" technologies, the new heat plant will provide for the college's heating and cooling needs in the most energy-efficient manner possible. The start of this project marks the culmination of several years of planning by the college's Energy Task Force, which set several goals for the new heat plant:

1 Increasing efficiency,
2 Reducing pollution,
3 Increasing fuel options,
4 Modernizing facilities,
5 Improving the campus appearance,
6 Building "green" and,
7 Providing educational and teaching facilities.

Once construction is completed, the college's new heat plant will replace the existing coal-fired plant, which has out-lived its useful life and no longer meets the college's energy and air-quality standards.

Construction is expected to begin in March, with an anticipated completion date of the plant in August 2005. Concurrent with building the heat plant, construction of the distribution system (hot and cold supply lines throughout the college's 140-acre campus) will begin in March with an anticipated completion date of May 2006. Once the distribution lines have been installed campus-wide and connected to new facility, the existing coal-fired heat plant and brick smokestack will be razed.

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