On July 9th, Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC) and McKinstry joined Pendleton community leaders during a groundbreaking ceremony marking the implementation of various shovel ready, energy and infrastructure improvements around the BMCC campus. As part of an energy savings performance contract with McKinstry, and funded primarily by Go Oregon! stimulus funds, these improvements will enhance building efficiencies and the classroom environment for the college’s students and staff, while providing local jobs and contracting with businesses that have been hit hard by the current economy.
Prior to the ceremony BMCC President John Turner and David Allen, McKinstry’s Executive VP, were guests on the KUMA Coffee Hour radio show. They spoke about the Go OREGON! projects at BMCC and McKinstry’s role in bringing sustainable solutions to the college’s infrastructure and deferred maintenance upgrades.
“Both BMCC and McKinstry have led the race in getting Go OREGON! projects on line as quickly as possible. We’ve also done everything possible to hire local subcontractors to keep revenues in the county which helps with job creation,” says BMCC President John Turner. “There’s been a lot of talk about the high unemployment rate in Oregon, but companies like McKinstry have proven that by looking to green initiatives we can create jobs.”
The overall estimated value of the projects presently underway at BMCC is between $2.5M and $3.0M and involves work at four of the five Pendleton campus buildings: McCrae Activity Center, Umatilla Hall, Emigrant Hall, Morrow Hall, Pioneer Hall, and the Health Education building; BMCC Boardman, BMCC Hermiston, and BMCC Milton-Freewater. The majority of the improvements will be to the Pendleton campus. Funding to complete the college upgrades comes from $2,055,500 Go Oregon! State stimulus monies, Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC), and other utility incentives. In total, improvements throughout the BMCC campuses are projected to support an estimated 50 - 60 local jobs.
Currently the contracting team made up of McKinstry and several local subcontractors (A&E Security, Marv’s Glass, Pendleton Electrical, and Pacific Power) are performing energy-audits in all the buildings to identify the best opportunities for energy-savings. At this time, all major electrical upgrades have been designed and are in the process of being constructed with the following projects currently underway: replacement and relocation of wiring/panel upgrades for the secondary electrical systems throughout the Pendleton campus; replacement of outdated electrical distribution system/components directly related to safety, reliability, and efficiency; exterior lighting upgrades and HVAC equipment and system upgrades across the BMCC Pendleton campus; and pool lighting upgrades at the McCrae Activity Center.
Blue Mountain Community College chose McKinstry (mckinstry.com) for the company’s laudable track record of transforming Oregon schools into high performance facilities and for its strong commitment to green design/build and sustainability, a commitment which BMCC shares and continually demonstrates. As a Pacific Power Blue Sky electricity consumer, Blue Mountain Community College purchases 301 blocks of 100 kilowatts each month, about the same amount used by 30 average households. Over the course of a year, the commitment avoids putting 220 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and has the same environmental benefit as planting 19,000 trees or not driving 450,000 miles.
BMCC has worked with the Energy Trust of Oregon on nine projects in the last five years. The total kilowatt savings per year from the nine projects is estimated at 415,292 kwh annually. Additionally, the Energy Trust has contributed a total of $16,142 in project funding.
As BMCC sets its sights on becoming a carbon-neutral college, it will continue to work in partnership with McKinstry focusing on ways to increase operational efficiency while reducing energy consumption. Future plans include the exploration of renewable energy technologies (solar, biomass, wind) and identifying locations and opportunities for future installation of solar PV arrays and solar-thermal technology for secondary heating systems.