MILLERSVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) – Millersville University gave a tour of the Lombardo Welcome Center on Thursday.
The welcome center is expected to open in January and when it does, it will be a net-zero energy building.
“The idea is that by generating electricity through the solar panels and then providing energy through the geothermal heating system, that it basically provides enough energy over the course of the year to run the entire building,” said Chris Steuer, the sustainability manager at Millersville University.
The building will have more than 500 solar panels when finished.
Steuer said the construction is part of a goal set by university officials to be carbon neutral by 2040. He added that the $7.5-million building will save the university money, which could translate to savings on students’ tuition bills.
“That money ultimately hits the bottom line,” Steuer said. “By implementing those energy conservation measures, we’re saving energy, we’re saving carbon, and we’re saving money. That helps with the financial stability of the university.”
The 13,600 square-foot building could also save money for those outside of Millersville.
Julian Boggs, policy director at Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, said when Millersville uses less energy, more energy is kept on the grid. He also said programs that help to pay for the building have translated into savings.
“In the first seven years of the energy efficiency law that we use to help fund energy efficiency projects like this, Act 129, we’ve delivered $6.5 billion in benefits to Pennsylvania ratepayers,” Boggs said.