SUNY Jefferson Community College

Sustainability is a core value of the Jefferson Community College mission and a fundamental part of campus culture, designed to foster growing awareness of environmental responsibility. On campus, efforts include educating the campus community, modeling sustainable practices while providing hands-on learning for the students. Other programs such as Earth Week, Arbor Day, Campus Arboretum Trail, and Tree Seedling sale were organized by the EverGreen Committee and student’s Green Club. Jefferson Community College also developed a Climate Action Plan to guide the campus to becoming the climate and sustainability leader of its community.

Student Preparedness           

The Ice-Enhanced Air-Cooled Chiller Plant is a part of the curriculum in the alternative energy program. Students get to see how the plant operates and how the campus-wide Building Automation System allows software to integrate the ice storage system with the rest of the campus equipment. Students participate in campus tours of all HVAC plants and mechanical spaces to achieve a better understanding of how energy is used on campus.

Climate Innovation

SUNY Jefferson Community College Climate Action Plan

“At Jefferson Community College we take our commitment to meeting the needs of our community very seriously. We provide high quality programs designed to meet the local educational needs of the residents of our county and the workforce needs of our employers. Fort Drum, home of the 10th Mountain Division, looks to us to meet the educational needs of our country’s most deployed soldiers and their family members. We are the primary community resource for intellectual stimulation, cultural arts, performing arts, and civic engagement. The campus is a vital and vibrant resource and considered to be the “gem of Jefferson County”.

Our commitment to our community goes even further. We pride ourselves on maximizing benefit from our resources and being good stewards of that which we have been entrusted. Our climate action plan will help to guide the campus now and into the future to become climate neutral and further our stewardship. Our responsibility to our community calls for nothing less.”

Carole A. McCoy, President, Jefferson Community College

Creating Opportunity

The James McVean College Center at Jefferson Community College houses a large multipurpose gymnasium, offices, space for music instruction, a dance studio, dining facilities, a fitness center, and theater. The building was originally built without air conditioning, and a combination of direct expansion split systems and window air-conditioning units had been installed in portions of the building over many years. The college wanted to improve efficiency and increase comfort for its students, faculty and guests, all while working on a limited budget.

A chilled-water plant with ice storage was requested through competitive bids. Trane Corp. proposed the EarthWise™ Ice-Enhanced Air-Cooled Chiller Plant, which offered high efficiency, additional capacity and lower maintenance requirements–without a need to upgrade the entire building’s electrical system. The Chiller Plant builds ice at night during off-peak hours when the building cooling and power load is low. Shifting the time when cooling is created allows the college to take advantage of lower-cost, off-peak electricity, as well as milder outdoor conditions for improved system efficiency. During the day, the ice storage batteries cool the facility. The facility managers can monitor equipment, make set-point changes, manage alarms and decide whether to melt, make or preserve ice via the campus-wide Trane Building Automation System.

The college nearly doubled its cooling capacity and eliminated inefficient cooling systems while seeing an overall decrease in utility costs. Based on the success of this plant to date, the college will be installing a similar plant to serve a new Collaborative Learning Center that is now under construction.