Geothermal project featured in USA Today

The world's largest geothermal project is drawing national attention.

An article published last Thursday by USA Today features Ball State's sustainability initiative, and is only one example of the media attention the geothermal project has received, said Joan Todd, Ball State executive director of public relations.

"It's interesting to see that questioning session [and all the information we give them and] how it's whittled down to two-three paragraphs in some cases," Jim Lowe, director of Engineering, Construction and Operations, said of his interaction with media outlets about the geothermal project.

Lowe said he spoke with a reporter representing USA Today two to three weeks ago and is pleased that the organization chose to publish this "success story."

The other sustainability successes highlighted were Butte College in Oroville, Calif., for its solar grid, Chatham University in Pittsburgh for it's separate campus devoted to sustainability and Middlebury College in Vermont for fueling its buildings with biomass. Ball State was the first school featured in the article.

"It's good to have that coverage, so that our geothermal project and the information we have available can get out to others," Lowe said. "It must convey that others are taking notice that this is a very exciting project, one which is taking a bold step in our sustainability efforts."

Much of the geothermal project is finished, but work remains undone. Lowe said it's common knowledge the university has nearly exhausted its funding for the project and is waiting on more money to be made available to complete it.

"We hope to be able to tell folks good news here before long, whenever that may be," Lowe said. "We certainly have an active administration that are seeking all opportunities, but if a media outlet could perhaps spawn the interest of somebody that would like to help support this project, that'd certainly be great to have."

Of the 780 boreholes that will be drilled at the geothermal location on the south side of campus, about 340 have been completed. Lowe said work at this site, which is across the Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital, will conclude before fall. He also said two more buildings - the Fine Arts Building and the Music Instruction Building - should be connected to the geothermal system during the summer.

Buildings that are currently being renovated - specifically Studebaker East and the Teachers College - will be made geothermal ready and connected to the system when possible, Lowe said. Regardless of how long it will take to gain funding, the project will continue.

"It is one very tangible example of our commitment to cost-saving, energy-saving, and a green campus," Todd said. "Anything that shows the positive things we're doing enhances our reputation, not only to prospective students, but to a larger audience as well."


More from The Daily

Loading Recent Classifieds...