Better energy efficiency and new security systems are coming to the McPherson College campus starting in the next few months.

Marty Sigwing, director of facilities at McPherson College, said these projects are building the foundation for long-term sustainability at the college, which is an important strategic focus at MC.

“We’re setting up a legacy of success,” Sigwing said. “A lot of this is invisible. You’re not going to see it when you walk down the sidewalk, but it will serve us well into the future.”

The first project is $7.4 million in energy improvements to the campus, which will be completed by Schneider Electric – an international company that specializes in energy performance contracts.

Sigwing said that the main improvement will involve replacing the current steam heat boilers in campus buildings with hot water boilers – making climate control safer, easier to control and more efficient. The improvements are expected to save at least $90,000 per year in utility costs, helping to defray the expense.

Sigwing said that the improvements will allow the facilities department at McPherson College to offer better customer service to the rest of campus. For example, switching between heating and cooling of buildings will take hours rather than the days it takes with current equipment. In addition, the new system will allow for better monitoring and control of all energy systems on campus. The efficiency upgrades are scheduled to be completed within 18 months.

A more long-term element of the project will improve campus safety with nearly $1 million in safety upgrades. The first part is installing 102 keyless entry keypad units on exterior doors as well as new lighting and video camera monitoring systems. Sigwing said requests for proposal are planned for fall 2016 with implementation starting in spring 2017. The project may continue with additional keypads on interior doors as needed.

“We are fortunate to be able to invest in long-term energy savings,” said Michael Schneider, McPherson College president. “Thanks to our investor and the city of McPherson that is issuing the bonds, we are able to finance these important upgrades.”

A private investor who will benefit from tax-free educational facilities revenue bonds issued by the city of McPherson will fund the projects. The bonds cleared a city public hearing on Monday, Feb. 15, and were issued later in February.