LATROBE, PA – Saint Vincent College has been awarded a grant from the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF) to help fund the incorporation of energy efficient technology and the use of renewable energy sources in the renovation and expansion of the Dale P. Latimer Library.
The $75,000 grant will help co-fund a number of initiatives in the newly-renovated and expanded library, including the purchase and installation of a dedicated outside air system (DOAS) and the design and installation of educational energy displays on the Dale P. Latimer Library’s solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Additionally, a portion of the funds will be put toward the building’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) submission to the U.S. Green Building Council.
“Saint Vincent College greatly values our partnership with the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund and shares its commitment to energy conservation and environmental stewardship,” said Fr. Paul Taylor, Saint Vincent College president. “We are very appreciative of this generous grant, as well as the WPPSEF’s past funding support for other sustainable energy projects on campus.”
The DOAS will bring fresh outside air into the library and will improve air quality by removing contaminants from outdoor air before being channeled into the building. The DOAS is designed to provide outside air to interior spaces independent of efforts to heat or cool the space, thereby significantly conserving energy and decreasing the production of greenhouse gases by limiting the use of electrical devices to the specific space. These systems are also effective dehumidifiers, designed to help prevent moisture-related problems such as mold growth.
In keeping with its educational mission, Saint Vincent will incorporate an educational component in the library to demonstrate the critical importance of energy efficiency and conservation efforts. An educational kiosk or display will be installed in the public access areas of the building to provide a graphic display of the energy generated by its PV system and other advanced energy efficient building technologies. In addition to the displays in the building, educational information on the energy efficient technologies will be prominently featured on Saint Vincent’s Green Campus Initiatives website, while the College will also plan educational programming for undergraduate students, K-12 students and teachers and the general public.
One of the primary goals in the 56,000 square foot expansion and renovation of the Dale P. Latimer Library is to create an energy efficient building that attains LEED certification at the Silver level or higher and minimizes energy use in the building. Currently, two buildings on the Saint Vincent campus are LEED Gold certified, including the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion and the Fred M. Rogers Center. The incorporation of environmental and energy efficiency goals in the current library project was influenced by the successful implementation of the project “Lighting the Way to a Greener Future.” This 2015 project, also funded by a WPPSEF grant, produced a significant reduction in energy usage, maintenance and heating/cooling costs through the installation of LED lighting in the library and the Robert S. Carey Student Center. The LED lighting involved in this 2015 project will be preserved during the current renovation/expansion project, and the impact of this project will be further broadened with the focus on energy efficiency throughout the library.
The expansion of the Dale P. Latimer Library is a key project in Saint Vincent College’s current capital campaign. It will provide technology-enhanced classrooms, multimedia and video production labs and group study suites, while key elements of the library’s traditional role will also be preserved, including access to print collections and Saint Vincent’s rare and special collections that are unique resources for scholars from the College and throughout the world. The expanded library will also provide storage and display of Saint Vincent’s extensive art collections, and these art galleries will be accessible to the public.
The West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that invests in the deployment of sustainable energy technologies that benefit West Penn Power ratepayers in Pennsylvania. WPPSEF investments are focused in three broad categories, including deployment of sustainable and clean energy technologies; deployment of energy efficiency and conservation technologies; and facilitating economic development, environmental betterment and public education as they relate to sustainable energy deployment in the West Penn Power service region.
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