Franklin College is one of 50 small businesses, health care facilities, institutions for higher education, and nonprofit agencies awarded an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) from the Indiana Office of Energy Development (OED)
The college received almost $65,000 to fund energy-efficient upgrades. Plans include replacing a cooling and moisture control system in B.F. Hamilton Library. The current system is original to the building and is 46 years old. The library houses many collections, including rare archives, paintings, and documents once belonging to Indiana Gov. Roger D. Branigin ’23. The library also houses a 24-hour computer lab for students and, of course, books used for research and study sessions. The new energy-efficient cooling and moisture control system will allow the college to preserve and protect the library’s contents and use less power.
In Indiana, a total of $2.85 million was awarded. Grantees were selected through a competitive application process.
The EECBG program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered in Indiana by the OED. It was created to assist eligible organizations in implementing strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions, reduce energy use, increase energy efficiency, reduce energy costs, create new jobs and increase productivity to spur local economic growth. Lt. Governor Becky Skillman presided over an award ceremony for the grantees on July 1 at the Indiana State House.
The EECBG grant is the most recent example of Franklin College’s greening initiatives. Other examples include the 2007 entry into the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, a promise to reduce Franklin College’s carbon footprint. In 2009, Franklin received the Indiana Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence as the result of a campus composting program. Last year, the college also updated outdoor campus lighting and lighting in the Spurlock Center gymnasium as well as added occupancy sensors to numerous rooms across campus to conserve electricity. This past academic year, the student cafeteria also made the switch to trayless dining to conserve water. The campus “Green Team” is an active group of students, faculty, and staff who collaborate to develop ongoing ideas for upgrading efficiencies.