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Geothermal system to cool schools this week

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 1:05 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 2:05 p.m. CDT
Caption
Geothermal well drilling workers were behind the Oregon High School Tuesday afternoon. Work on the geothermal wells is progressing and should be competed soon. Photo by Chris Johnson
Caption
Geothermal well drilling workers were behind the Oregon High School Tuesday afternoon. Work on the geothermal wells is progressing and should be competed soon. Photo by Chris Johnson

With 90s in the forecast for late this week, students and staff at two Oregon school buildings will be glad the new heating and cooling system is almost in place.

Superintendent Tom Mahoney said Monday although the geothermal wells at Oregon Elementary and High Schools are not yet fully operational, the buildings will be cooled by the new system installed over the summer.

“Cooling is occurring at the construction locations but only one is fully hooked up to the geo-thermal,” he said. “The others are being cooled only by the chillers and will be looped into the geo-thermal as soon as possible.”

According to a press release issued by KMK Media, the district’s public relations firm, over the summer, Chevron Energy Solutions installed geothermal energy systems to provide new heating, cooling and ventilation to portions of Oregon Elementary School and all of Oregon High School.  

“The infrastructure and operational efficiency of the buildings will vastly improve, creating a more reliable environment for students and staff and annual cost savings of at least $10,000,” the press release read.

D.L Rahn Junior High in Mt. Morris was not included in the geothermal project because it has a newer heating system than the other two schools.

It is, however, slated to be considered for air-conditioning next year.

The geothermal system is the biggest share of a $7.5 million Health and Life Safety project approved by the school board last year.

Other projects included new wiring and phone system district-wide, and secured entrances at all three buildings.

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