Oxford USD 358

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Oxford Unified School District (USD) 358 leaders have incorporated a “boiler room to classroom” approach to green building.  The district recently completed infrastructure improvements expected to save more than $90,000 a year in operations and maintenance costs while incorporating an energy efficiency curriculum in the classroom.

District buildings required improvements to address approximately $2 million in backlogged maintenance, to increase building comfort and to reduce high energy consumption.  The upgrades represent initial steps in transforming district facilities into high performance buildings.

These included installing high efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to improve indoor air quality and to increase ventilation and classroom comfort.  Energy efficient lighting upgrades were completed to provide optimal lighting throughout the district.  Other upgrades which increased energy efficiency included window and roof upgrades and boiler replacement.

The district also added low-flow water fixtures to conserve water and reduce sewage.  A district-wide building automation system was installed which enables operations staff to centrally control the HVAC systems to optimize energy and operational efficiencies while improving classroom comfort.

The retrofits improved the learning and teaching environment in the elementary school; the junior/senior high school; the administration building, the gym and auditorium buildings; and the maintenance building.  An automated bus route optimization program was also added.

“These improvements make good financial and environmental sense for our district,” said Dr. Deborah Hamm, superintendent, Oxford USD.  “We’re able to finance much needed infrastructure improvements without burdening taxpayers – all while incorporating an energy efficiency curriculum that teaches our young people about energy efficiency.  It’s truly a win-win.”

BTU Crew

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As part of their sustainability focus, administrators committed to educating students about the importance of high performance buildings by incorporating the Trane BTU Crew curriculum into sixth-grade classes and several high school science classes.  The curriculum is an interactive educational program on energy use and conservation in buildings.  It teaches students ways to reduce energy use at school and at home to make a positive contribution to the environment today, and it encourages students to consider careers in potential science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) where talent is needed.

After all the improvements were completed, middle school science students conducted an energy audit to demonstrate the gains achieved.  The students then presented their findings to the district’s board of education.

Click here to learn more about The BTU Crew.

Rewards and Recognition

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On May 4, 2011 administrators at Oxford USD 358 received the Trane Energy Efficiency Leader in Education Award for their sustainable energy and operational efficiency improvements.  The award recognizes the importance of the upgrades and the administrators commitment to optimizing the teaching and learning environment while increasing energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.

The award ceremony was held at the Oxford Junior/Senior High School and ceremony music was provided by the award winning high school choir.  Dr. Deborah Hamm, USD 358 Superintendent, talked briefly about the project and Chad Remboldt, Trane Comprehensive Solutions Consultant, congratulated the district by presenting the award to Dr. Hamm.

Click here to view footage of the ceremony.