St. Charles Community College Moves Toward a Greener Campus

May 03, 2010

St. Charles Community College in Cottleville, Mo., is pleased to announce several environmentally friendly, sustainable projects.

SCC received a Public Buildings and Energy Efficiency Retrofit grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in the amount of $187,718, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The funds were part of a joint grant request with the Economic Development Center of St. Charles County, Duckett Creek Sanitary District and the city of Cottleville, Mo. SCC will use the funds for three projects that will increase energy efficiency at SCC: a high efficiency hot water boiler, advanced control valves to improve the efficiency of the chilled water cooling system, and sensors to control the lighting, heating and cooling systems for classrooms.

The DNR grant, combined with a $24,964 grant from Laclede Gas Company, a natural gas utility for St. Louis, and a college match of $302,259, will cover the $514,941 cost of the three projects. The projects will be implemented during fiscal year 2010-11. The savings realized will provide a projected payback in less than five years.

Green Projects
New brown rubber mulch made from recycled tires is being used in some college parking lot islands, improving the appearance and eliminating the cost of replacement in the foreseeable future.

A new “Team Green” committee, headed by Chris Breitmeyer, dean of math, science and health, has secured membership with the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and is taking steps toward achieving a more sustainable campus community.

The team is preparing for campus-wide single stream recycling this fall and has secured a $25,000 grant from the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District to pay for the bins, liners, composters and educational campaign. A fall kick-off event, “Sustainapalooza!” is planned for Aug. 31-Sept. 2 on campus.

“Not only are we being good environmental citizens, but we are doing it at a cost savings to the college,” said Breitmeyer.

Future plans are to incorporate native plants and more natural vegetation on campus. To learn more, contact Breitmeyer at cbreitmeyer@stchas.edu.

Outdoor Classroom
An outdoor classroom is planned for development in Rabbit Run Park, located in St. Peters, Mo., one mile north of campus. Through a partnership with the city of St. Peters, the site will be a resource for SCC science, art, English and physical education classes and for local schools and community groups to make connections with nature. The 90 acres of land to be used by SCC will be kept natural and will be used to grow plants and trees representative of the different environments across Missouri. The city will maintain ownership of the park, including its existing facilities and trails.

The site will support learning and undergraduate research. A basic, sustainable structure eventually will be built in the park to provide a place for classes to meet and to be used as an observatory for research-grade telescopes.  

With $50,000 earmarked by SCC for development of the outdoor classroom, SCC currently is pursuing grants to help fund the project. Some use of the outdoor classroom is planned for this summer.
 
St. Charles Community College is a public, comprehensive two-year community college with associate degrees and certificate programs in the arts, business, sciences and career-technical fields. SCC provides workforce training and community-based personal and professional development as well as cultural, recreational and entertainment opportunities. For more information, visit www.stchas.edu.

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