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District Saves $500K in Opening Year of Conservation Program

One year into an energy conservation partnership with Cenergistic, a national sustainability company, the Dubuque Community School District has already saved $500,000 compared to expected energy costs over the same time.

The School Board receives an Environmental Excellence Certificate from Cenergistic

School Board President Tami Ryan (far left) and Buildings and Grounds Manager Bill Burkhart (far right) receive an Environmental Excellence Certificate from Cenergistic. The certificate was presented by Cenergistic Client Manager Robert Herron (center right) and Energy Specialist Abigail Hammann (center left).

“Cenergistic has studied our electricity use and discovered ways to save our district significant money on our electricity costs, and they’ve been training our staff on the specifics of the plan to make those savings happen,” said Kevin Kelleher, the district’s chief financial officer. “Every dollar saved can be redirected to enhancing the educational experience for our students.”

To improve building operations and save costs, district personnel and the program’s energy specialist act as energy watchdogs, working in tandem to audit and optimize energy-using systems across the organization to achieve peak efficiency. The energy specialist tracks energy consumption at all campuses with state-of-the-art technology to identify waste and drive conservation.

In response to COVID-related shutdowns, the energy specialist gives special attention to improving air quality and supporting facilities teams to ensure students can return to healthier classrooms. Through thousands of facility audits, she provides a continuous presence throughout district schools, identifying hazards, optimizing equipment and helping implement CDC recommendations for continued operation.

“Our district does not have the in-house expertise to understand the billing process of our local utilities or the energy use of our district equipment and come up with significant energy savings,” said Kelleher. “This is where the staff of Cenergistic help the district understand that information in order to make better consumer decisions. Our district is pleased to have partnered with Cenergistic.”

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District and Dubuque Area Swimmin’ Hurricanes (DASH) Announce Planned Pool Partnership

The Dubuque Community School District and the Dubuque Area Swimmin’ Hurricanes (DASH) will join forces to expand the district’s newly planned competition pool while providing a new home to DASH swimmers. The intent to partner was announced at the September 11 meeting of the district’s Facilities and Support Services Committee of the Board of Education.

The proposed partnership would provide DASH with a 25-year rental of the pool during non-district times in exchange for $1 million to cover the cost of expanding the pool’s footprint to 75 feet. In order for the partnership to move forward, DASH intends to raise its funding commitment through philanthropic support from its members and swimming supporters in the community prior to construction bidding of the project. A formal agreement for the partnership will be presented to the Board of Education for approval at an upcoming meeting. The district’s new pool is currently in the design phase, with total project completion anticipated in fall 2019. Read More about “District and Dubuque Area Swimmin’ Hurricanes (DASH) Announce Planned Pool Partnership”