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Contemporary Arts Center, city of Springdale undertake energy projects to cut emissions, spending

The Contemporary Arts Center debuted a Creativity Center in 2022.
Jessica Hart
The Contemporary Arts Center debuted a Creativity Center in 2022.

The Contemporary Arts Center and the city of Springdale recently received state funds to take on energy efficiency projects. The upgrades will save each entity tens of thousands of dollars annually and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, according to a news release.

With the grant, the Contemporary Arts Center plans to balance the existing air handling unit systems, replace the building automation system, and automate monthly energy reporting in its seven-story Downtown museum.

The arts center has committed to reduce its energy use 50% by 2030 as part of Cincinnati’s 2030 District, Chief of External Affairs Carolyn Hefner said. The upcoming energy efficiency projects will aid that goal.

“We wouldn't be doing our due diligence as a contemporary arts center if we weren't focused on issues that are impacting the globe right in this moment,” Hefner said. “That starts right at home with being more focused on climate and putting more good out there than we're taking, and that really ties into making sure that our building is sustainable to continue serving artists and continue serving the community long term, and that really starts with being much more efficient in how our building operates.”

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Springdale will install new LED lighting fixtures, establish direct digital control systems and complete a chiller upgrade throughout municipal facilities.

Energy efficiency upgrades reduce energy consumption, which can lower carbon emissions and ultimately slow the warming of the planet when done on a global scale, according to a 2023 Grist article.

Springdale’s projects will reduce the city’s carbon dioxide consumption by 445 tons a year, Assistant City Administrator Brian Uhl said. He equates that to operating 96 passenger cars annually or consuming 50,196 gallons of gasoline.

The projects will also save the Contemporary Arts Center and City of Springdale upwards of $50,000 a year.

“Those are dollars that we'll be able to truly focus back into our staffs, the exhibitions that we bring in, bringing our art out into the community, bringing different forms of art back into our building and better serving our staff and our community,” Hefner said.

Isabel joined WVXU in 2024 to cover the environment.