High School Energy Upgrades Earn Superior $200k Rebate

Baihly Warfield
Updated: February 04, 2019 10:38 PM

SUPERIOR, Wis. - It's what goes on behind the whiteboards earned the Superior School District high marks from the state of Wisconsin. 

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The district was presented with a $200,000 Focus on Energy rebate check Monday for its construction of the new Superior High School. 

"It's pretty amazing, and it takes a lot of preparation on the design team," Tony Menard, an energy advisor for the state program, said. 

A large part of the earned rebate was an air handling unit, Menard said. 

Patrick Gallagher, a senior project manager for Kraus-Anderson, said an energy recovery process is a big part of what makes the system so efficient. 

"As that warm air leaves the building, it preheats the cold air coming into the building," Gallagher said. 

Throughout the building, the fresh, clean air is blown out into the rooms a few feet up off the ground. The stale air is then removed through the ceiling because warm air rises. Gallagher said last week's cold weather gave them a good test, and the system worked well. 

Another energy-efficient design element is that south-facing classrooms have a sloped ceiling, which allows for a larger window on the south side. That means more natural light during the day, which will allow the daylight sensor-controlled LEDs to dim. In the winter, it could also mean some natural heat from the sun. 

Superior voters agreed to foot $92 million of district-wide building upgrades through a referendum. Rob Sandstrom with Superior Water, Light & Power said the district will save $193,984 per year. Focus on Energy reports the electricity and natural gas saved at Superior High School is enough to power 164 homes for a year. 

Menard said 107 utilities across Wisconsin participate in the Focus on Energy program. Superior Water, Light & Power is included in that, so rebates are open to any of their customers. 

"Whether it's lighting, a furnace, boilers, anything like that, so it could range from a residential customer to school, agriculture, and up to commercial and industrial customers as well," Menard said. 

Cooper Elementary is also currently being rebuilt, so the construction team is hoping for another big rebate check from that project too. 


Baihly Warfield

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