New geothermal system added to Kingsley Junior High

The new geothermal system is set to be installed this summer. (Photo Google Maps)



NORMAL – Unit 5 is writing a roughly $3 million dollar check for upgrades at one of their older buildings.

Kingsley Junior High currently uses a boiler for heat in the winter and room units to cool classrooms in the summer.  Soon those will be replaced with a geothermal unit.

“Geothermal, you are pulling the heat and cooling out of the ground instead of using electric or gas to heat or cool spaces,” said Director of Custodial Services, Craig Montgomery.

Kingsley is the 14th building in the district to get the upgrade.

The district said the $3 million dollar up front cost is worth every penny.

“The school we are sitting in now, Parkside Junior High, we’ve reduced our gas by 98% and our electricity 68%,” said Joe Adelman, the Executive Director of Operations.

What does this mean in terms of dollars and cents in the school’s operating costs?

“At Normal West we’re saving about $9,800 a month. At Parkside Junior High we’re saving about $15,000 a month. At Normal Community about $12,000 a month. At Kingsley, when it’s finished, we estimate about $7,000 a month,” said Adelman.

By that math, Unit 5 saves just over $48,000 per month, just over half a million a year.  Money that can be spent on other large projects.

“So when you’re saving this money by implementing the geothermal project., it allows us to re-purpose that money to make other improvements like when Mr. Adelmlan said, here at Parkside Junior High School, we’re able to re-do the parking lot,” said Montgomery.

The district said they set a 12-year pay back plan but they’re predicting it will be finished in six.

The geothermal system at Kingsley will be fully installed and operational in time for next school year.

WJBC News can be reached at [email protected]


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…