The money will go to two projects on campus, namely the replacement of lighting fixtures in 36 buildings and the upgrade of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system in the school’s Melton Building, said Director of Plant Operations and Engineering Dale Hess.
The lighting fixture project, which includes more than 3,000 fixtures, will account for about $845,000 of the grant money and it is estimated the project will save the UGA-Griffin campus about $135,000 in utility costs each year. Thus, the return on investment comes at 6.3 years, said Hess, who applied for the grant in July 2009.
The remaining $570,000 will go toward the HVAC project. With estimated annual utility savings of $70,000, the project’s return on investment lies at 8.1 years.
Students, faculty and other employees will benefit from these projects through improved lighting and increased comfort, Hess said.
What’s more, he said, it is estimated that both projects will create 15 jobs.
“That includes the people building the material that has to be installed,” he said.
The UGA-Griffin campus is currently preparing bid packages for both projects. After that step is completed, the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority will direct the grant money to UGA’s Board of Regents, which will provide it to the actual projects, Hess said.
Hess said additional grants to apply for have not been identified at this point. However, “if something’s out there for the benefit of the campus, I would certainly take a look at it,” he said.