Bethlehem Central High School
700 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY 12054
Bethlehem Central High School is a suburban public school built in 1952 to accommodate a growing school population in the district. A suburban district just a few miles outside of Albany, Bethlehem Central has a long-standing reputation for educational excellence, and now for energy conservation. Approximately 1,800 students attend the high school, which has approximately 200 faculty and staff members. BCHS is a center for community activities?it is used almost continuously by community organizations, sports teams, continuing education, and local colleges while classes are not in session.
The largest improvement to the physical plant of the school came with a $33 million bond project that was completed in 2007. Two new 2-story classroom wings, a gym, multi-use meeting room, a new orchestra room, and a fitness facility were added to the existing structure, increasing floor area by 33 percent to slightly more than 360,000 square feet. The newly renovated rooms include occupancy sensors and switches for three possible levels of light intensity. Hallways were wired with the capability for half-lighting on bright days and after hours. A state-of-the-art boiler plant was added, while the entire electrical system was upgraded. A centrally-controlled, web-based energy management system (EMS) was installed for the high school and all 10 other district facilities. This system allows for greater control during both occupied and unoccupied periods. The new hydronic heating system was designed with numerous zones for better control. The EMS tracks room temperatures and automatically adjusts heating to outside and inside air temperatures. Improvements in heating efficiency have yielded savings of more than $116,000 in a pre- to post-construction, year-to-year comparison, with a 41-percent reduction in heating costs.
Along with improving the physical plant, the district analyzed all procedures dealing with energy consumption. Bethlehem hired its first Energy Manager in 2001 and worked with Energy Education Inc. to begin to transform the way it uses energy. These changes have helped the district avoid well over $1 million in energy costs. Since 2007, the high school has been exceptional at avoiding electrical costs with savings valued at $60,471.48. An energy conscious staff and feedback from after hours energy audits have been instrumental in these positive outcomes of recent years.
EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager was very helpful at validating the district's initiatives. The tool allowed the district to compare Bethlehem High School with ?like schools? to see how it has been performing. Currently the district is looking into new and innovative ways to increase our ENERGY STAR score and reduce energy costs. The district is a member of an energy-purchasing consortium in partnership with more than 160 other school districts and municipalities. The consortium increases its buying power and decreases fluctuations in commodity cost. The district is also seeking to take advantage of NYSERDA and National Grid incentives to further upgrade the physical plant at all schools and facilities. With incentives, many of the projects have a very short return on investment period, which make them attractive to the district.
Bethlehem Central School District established a Green Team Committee in 2009. The committee examines ways our district can reduce our negative environmental footprint. By taking a comprehensive approach, Bethlehem Central has made great strides in improving student, staff, and community awareness of green issues and concerns.
?Bethlehem CSD is committed to spending the least amount of taxpayer dollars possible on energy. Through a comprehensive energy management program, we have seen great results, but we are not finished. We will continue to seek out ways to decrease costs while maintaining a quality environment for work and play.? -- Paul O'Reilly, Energy Manager, Bethlehem Central School District
Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Bethlehem Central School District or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.
TRC Energy Services
Bethlehem Central School District
Bethlehem Central School District
Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
Facility Type: K-12 School
Total Floorspace: 360190 sf
Year Constructed: 1954
Contract Type: None