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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

Bethlehem Central Middle School
332 Kenwood Ave
Delmar, NY 12054
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Bethlehem Central Middle School is a suburban public school built in 1932 to initially serve as a high school for students in the district. As the area grew, it was converted to the district?s middle school in the 1950s. 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 1,400 students attend the Middle School, which has approximately 150 faculty and staff members. BCMS 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 $24 million bond project that was completed in 2007. A new 2-story classroom wing, a gym, and an expanded cafeteria were added to the existing structure, increasing the floor area by 32 percent to slightly over 280,000 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 was installed for the middle 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 energy management system (EMS) tracks room temperatures and automatically adjusts heating to outside and inside air temperatures.  Improvements in heating efficiency have yielded savings of almost $118,000 in a pre- to post-construction, year-to-year comparison, with a 48-percent reduction in heating cost.


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. 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 districts initiatives. The tool allowed the district to compare the middle 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 periods, 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.

Service Provider:
TRC Energy Services

Building Owner:*
Bethlehem Central School District

Property Manager:*
Bethlehem Central School District

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2009 (76)
2010 (78)

Facility Type: K-12 School

Total Floorspace: 280037 sf

Year Constructed: 1932

Contract Type: None

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Stage 2-Lighting