Winds of CHANGE shift at DCHS | DrumhellerMail
10222020Thu
Last updateThu, 22 Oct 2020 11am

Winds of CHANGE shift at DCHS

change-is-brewin.jpgThe winds of change are blowing through the halls of Drumheller Composite High School (DCHS), as students are starting to see green.
The students of DCHS have come together to form a group called CHANGE (Creating a Healthy and New Green Earth), in an attempt to try to persuade the government to incorporate green technology into the new DCHS renovated school.
Jason Rasmussen, the coordinator and main influence for the initiation of the project, spoke with Golden Hills School District facilities director, Don Hartman, about the project.



“He was very supportive of the group, and is environmentally friendly himself,” said Rasmussen, explaining that the initial idea of totally powering the school with green technology such as solar panels, was a partially unrealistic goal.
“It would take a whole roof of solar panels to power just a couple computer labs,” and the school does not believe they could acquire funding for such a task.
Typically, conventional schools have lower design and construction costs and higher operational costs, while “green schools”  have higher design and construction costs and lower operational costs.
The only problem is convincing the school district to spend the extra money to incorporate green power, which would be saving money in the long-term.
Rasmussen believes the school could incorporate partial sources of alternative energy, but probably not complete green power.
Green schools use an average of 33 per cent less energy than conventionally designed schools.
Capital-E, a company that provides strategic consulting, technology assessment, and advisory services to investors in the clean energy industry, issued a report in October 2006 entitled “Greening America’s Schools: Costs and Benefits”.
Even though the report is American, prices for solar technology are relatively the same in Canada.
According to the report the costs of building a conventional school is $170(CDN)/ft2, and also states, “typically green schools cost one per cent to two per cent more, with an average cost premium of 1.7 per cent, or about $3.40/ft2.
The report indicates that average school use in 2005/2006 was 1.15/ft2, and that 63 per cent was electrical and 34 per cent natural gas.
The report reviews 30 green schools throughout the United States and indicates an average of $0.38/ft2 is saved per year in these schools.
Students at DCHS have shown strong interest in the project, and have plans to create a group identity within the school by creating t-shirts, posters, and presentations.
The students plan to hold a “blackout day”, where they will be turning off all power to show students what it’s like without it, something so simple but often forgotten in modern society.
The group also plans to celebrate Waste Reduction Week, October 19-25.
“By making them aware, we can influence them to make an impact on their carbon footprint. That is a definite positive outcome,” Rasmussen said.
The project is in its infancy, but developing as CHANGE had its first meeting of the year on Wednesday, October 1, and continues to meet regularly every Wednesday.

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