We all know the climate crisis is here. Here. Right now. And we take pride when our local governments make bold pledges that they will reduce carbon emissions by large percentages in short time frames. But it will take a lot of solar panels and timing mechanisms on thermostats to make that happen.
That’s why it is so critical, when a public entity has an opportunity for bold and decisive action to change the climate trajectory in their sphere, that they actually take it. So we are fully supportive of the school board at OPRF, which last week unanimously voted to install geothermal heating and cooling apparatus underneath athletic fields which will be fully dug up next summer as part of an exciting realignment of space in collaboration with the park district.
The greenhouse-gas-free energy will be used to heat and cool the remade indoor athletic facilities at the south end of the Scoville campus when that project is built.
Upfront costs of geothermal are significantly higher than installing gas or electric boilers — as in an estimated $5.25 million vs. $2.5 million. And while operating costs are marginally favorable to geothermal, the power of this bold action is in keeping a promise to the community that saving this planet needs to start in this village.
What a powerful and essential message that is to our students as well.