Representatives from Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) presented a $272,000 incentive check to the Board of Education Aug. 11 for energy savings features at St. Charles High School. Presenting the check for SMECO were Jennifer Raley, left, and Jeff Shaw, second from right. Board Chairman Virginia McGraw, second from left, accepted the check on behalf of the Board along with Keith Hettel, CCPS assistant superintendent of supporting services, center, and St. Charles Principal Rick Conley, right.
LA PLATA, Md.—Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) presented a $272,000 incentive check to the Board of Education on Aug. 11 for energy-saving features incorporated in the design and building of St. Charles High School.
St. Charles is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver school, opened in August 2014 and incorporates energy management features throughout the building .
An all-electric building with four floors, St. Charles qualified for the $272,000 incentive from SMECO with an energy savings of 1,600 megawatt hours per year. According to SMECO officials, the savings are the equivalent of the yearly usage of 123 average residential SMECO customers.
Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) has worked with the SMECO Business Solutions Program to save energy on past projects, and annually receives energy usage rebates for its conservation efforts. CCPS and SMECO teamed up again during construction of St. Charles, the school systems newest and seventh high school. CCPS and its general contractor submitted an application to be considered for an energy savings incentive through SMECOs EMPOWER MD Program.
To receive the incentive and become a LEED Silver standard facility, the school system added the following measures to St. Charles to go above being code-compliant: high efficiency exterior walls, glazing and roof, high efficiency lighting and lighting controls with Lutron Ecosystem platform, high efficiency geothermal system, and demand controlled ventilation. The building design incorporates energy management features, including natural lighting, water efficient landscaping and a geothermal heating and cooling system.
According to Keith Hettel, assistant superintendent of supporting services, the school system will pass the energy savings back to the county.
St. Charles opened with grades 9 through 11 and adds a senior class this school year. It is a 288,283 square-foot school that stacks four academic houses on four floors and contains 80 teaching stations.
The high school also contains the James E. Richmond Science Center, which contains a state-of-the-art digital classroom and Science on a Sphere that is used by the public and students system-wide. Nearly 20,000 students visited the Science Center last school year. It also includes the Col. Donald M. Wade Aquatic Center with a competition sized six-lane, 25-yard pool, locker rooms and bleacher seating. Other St. Charles athletic features include a football stadium with an eight-lane track; bleacher seating for 1,500 home/500 visitors; 14 fields including football, baseball, softball, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse; and eight tennis courts.