OU Trustees Hear Heating Plant Plans

By
Bethany Venable

Dateline
Updated Fri, Jan 20, 2012 3:17 pm

An engineering firm is recommending Ohio University replace its Athens campus heating plant in two stages to be operating on natural gas by 2015.

The Ohio University Board of Trustees heard plans from RMF Engineering, Inc. to replace the Lausche Heating Plant during meetings in Lancaster yesterday and today.
 
According to a news release from the university, "the current plant is reaching the end of its useful life" and a more energy-efficient plant will mean a savings of about $3 million per year by 2025, although the cost to switch entirely to natural gas will increase annual fuel costs by nearly the same amount. The university will move away from using coal and will switch to natural gas as a committment to sustainability and to comply with Environmental Protection Agency emissions regulations.
 
Board members approved the replacement project as part of a six-year capital improvement plan at a November meeting. The Lausche Heating Plant was built in 1967 and provides heat to all university buildings on campus.
 
A committee of both university and city members will now look for funding for the estimated $91 million project.
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