DePauw Details Big Master Plan Efforts

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GREENCASTLE -

DePauw University is investing $40 million into two master plans designed to reduce its carbon footprint, improve energy efficiency and enhance the student living experience on the Greencastle campus. The university says its Campus Energy Master Plan is expected to save an estimated $750,000 in energy expenses each year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent. DePauw is also launching a new housing master plan, which includes new residence options for first-year students and enhancements to existing space.

DePauw has tapped Quebec-based Ecosystem to design and implement the CEMP. The university says it will invest $12 million to fund new HVAC technology, upgrade heat and water delivery systems, provide LED lighting throughout the campus, and install a solar panel array.

Warren Whitesell, associate vice president for facilities management, says the university will also convert its heating system from steam to natural gas. He says the current heating system contributes to 43 percent of the university's energy usage. 

"These new systems will also utilize less electricity, which costs five times as much and produces more greenhouse gases than natural gas," said Whitesell. "Locally, electricity is primarily sourced from coal, which is more harmful to the environment than other energy sources."

DePauw says a housing committee will select an architectural design partner for the plan by the end of May with the plan expected to be in place within six months.

"Residence halls are much more than a place to sleep. They are at the heart of a student’s college experience, especially at a university like DePauw," said President Mark McCoy. "They facilitate and enrich a close-knit living and learning environment and the development of strong support networks for students.” National research indicates that students who live on campus are more satisfied with their college experience, earn higher grades, and are more likely to graduate."

The university says both plans are being funded through tax-exempt financing recently secured from BMO Harris Bank.

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