Country Meadow Elementary School
2410 County Road 10
Ashley, IN 46705
Located in Ashley, IN, Country Meadow Elementary School is a part of the DeKalb County Central United School District. This single-story educational facility serves approximately 300 students in grades K-5 and includes classrooms, a media center, computer labs, a cafeteria, and a physical education facility.
DeKalb Central, as with most school districts, faces ongoing concerns about funding school programs. There is less and less funding from state and federal sources, more and more unfunded mandates, and more and more competition for available grants. Generally, there is very little room to make reductions in school budgets without directly impacting programs for the students. DeKalb Central Schools partnered with a consulting firm in Texas that specializes in working with school districts to reduce energy consumption--thereby reducing expenditures in the area of utilities and permitting the reallocation of unspent funds back to student programs.
With help from Energy Education, Inc., energy consumption is audited, analyzed, and adjusted as needed throughout the year to optimize the savings. This comprehensive program involves all members of the staff, each doing their respective part. However, much of the work is done when teachers and students are not in school. The Energy Manager visits the buildings at all hours of the day and night, including weekends, and makes the necessary adjustments to ensure that energy is used as efficiently as possible. In addition to saving money on energy costs, the program also benefits the environment by reducing the greenhouse emissions associated with the production of energy at power plants. Other savings include reduced use of chemicals needed to treat heating/air conditioning water and reduced wear (although very difficult to measure) on equipment resulting from shorter run times. In addition, staff and students have applied the energy efficiency lessons they learned at school in their homes, resulting in immeasurable additional benefits.
Initial benchmarking using EPA's Portfolio Manager for the 2003-2004 school year returned a baseline score of 20. At the end of January 2010, the building received a score of 83, qualifying the school for the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance. As of the end of January 2010, Country Meadow Elementary School has been able to achieve a cost avoidance savings of approximately $303,000 since June 2004 with an overall reduction in energy consumption of 38 percent. EPA's Portfolio Manager shows a reduction of 45 percent in Site Energy Intensity.
Verification of savings and success of the program is done using Energy CAP software to analyze the district's utility bills beginning one year before the start of the program. The district also utilizes EPA's Portfolio Manager to provide an additional means of analyzing progress and verifying results.
DeKalb Central Schools received Energy Education's Pacesetter Award in 2006 and Environmental Excellence Award in 2008, the Energy Patriot Award by Senator Richard Lugar in 2009, and has been mentioned in a Congressional White Paper prepared by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Staff in May 2008.
"Our district's commitment and capacity to earn the ENERGY STAR for 100 percent of our facilities is a significant accomplishment! It is quite evident that this achievement was obtained through a collaborative effort and willingness among all stakeholders to produce results that would have a direct impact on opportunities for students. What a powerful message this sends to our community about our focus on efficiency and resourcefulness."-- Sherry Grate, Superintendent of Schools, DeKalb Central Schools
Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by DeKalb Central Schools 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.
DeKalb Central Schools
DeKalb Central Schools
Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
Facility Type: K-12 School
Total Floorspace: 67600 sf
Year Constructed: 1997
Contract Type: Internal Resources