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Green Fee May Be Used for Solar Powering Sanford Center

Peder Aalgaard | Staff Writer | 03/23/2011

Sustainability Coordinator Erika Bailey-Johnson requested some help from the BSU Student Association on February 23 for a project she is working on with the Sanford Center.

The two-year project has been an attempt to increase the use of alternative energy sources to help supply renewable power for the event center. The idea was formed when the Sanford Center was still in the process of planning construction.

While looking at alternative energy answers to various facilities within building, geothermal energy was suggested as a way to heat and cool the building. However, the idea was not put into effect right away, due to needing to use pumps powered by fossil fuels.

Bailey-Johnson looked into using solar power to run the pumps and has since been researching the cost and process that would go into making a solar powered event center. The total cost for the project would fall somewhere between $260,000 to $270,000. After applying for a government grant, the committee in charge of the project managed to secure $100,000 toward the project.

However, city council did not sign off on the project due to deadline being so soon. After looking for other groups to supply funding, Bailey-Johnson approached the BSUSA, since the school has yet to be involved in the project.
“I do believe that students will benefit from this,” Bailey-Johnson said. “I think in our community, we are the leader when it comes to sustainability as far as understanding what our energy needs will be in the future.”

Because of this, she feels the Green Fee can be used for the project. She has proposed that the BSUSA uses $13,000 of the Green Fee to support the project.

“I think this would be a huge statement from you as students to this community, to this city about where you want to go and what you believe in,” said Bailey-Johnson.

The BSUSA will discuss this request further in future meetings.