What do you do with old school?


Way up here near the edge of the earth (Canada), there is a small town of several hundred named Kennedy. They have an old K-12 school (built in the 1950's) that like many in rural Minnesota in the 1980's was consolidated. It had been sitting dormant until this year, when the city decided to use it as a "green" business incubator. With some grant help from USDA, they have created plans to put in a wind turbine related business in the old school shop. The city office has moved in to the old school main office (where the secretary would collect your lunch money or written excuse for being late to class.....)

A small operating turbine can be seen as you pull up to the south side of the school as part of the project is to make the building "green" itself. It is now utilizing geothermal heating, and another UM person from the Clean Energy Resource Team walked through to see attempts to make it more energy efficient. Oil usage has been 28,000 gallons per year, which with the current price of $3.21/gal for #1 grade and $2.89/gal for #2 grade, you can figure it would take around $80K a year to currently heat. Pretty expensive for heating alone. Geothermal pumps will pull Kilowatt hours of electricity, yet depending on the system may cut costs by quite a bit. Some defunct schools within 100 miles of Crookston around here have brought in businesses such as assisted living halls, quick-stores, cafes, post offices, city halls, police stations, etc... Economic Develpment can be a recycling of past infrastructure to grow future oriented businesses!


I'm with you Art. School buildings are a great asset. I've found that the path to reuse is a challenging one without many guide posts.

How would you suggest getting started on recycling an old school building?

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This page contains a single entry by artlnash published on December 1, 2010 3:13 PM.

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