In January, the Board of Directors of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) approved up to $65,000 in Federal Gas Tax—Community Works Fund revenues for the Ashcroft HUB Society, to fund energy efficiency upgrades at the HUB building (the former Ashcroft Elementary School).
Vicky Trill, executive director of the HUB, says she was surprised when she found out the amount of the grant.
“The TNRD Gas Tax fund is highly targeted to energy savings and reducing carbon footprints,” says Trill. “We’re in a very old building that uses lots of gas and electricity. The major thing we pay is an average of $3,000 monthly for gas and electricity. You can literally see daylight around some of the doors and windows, and we’ve actually had a mouse come through one of the gaps.
“We’ve done some weather-stripping, but we know that better, energy efficient doors and windows, and new lights, would help.”
When filling out the grant application, Trill put in an amount of $65,000, but was under the impression they could only get up to $30,000. “I thought if we got that, we could apply for more another time.”
She was thrilled when the full amount of $65,000 was approved. “It will make the building more sustainable, to support Ashcroft and the area.”
The contracts have been awarded to local businesses, meaning that the money will stay in the community. “With the doors and windows, we asked ‘Where will we save the most money?’
“Probably 75 per cent of the exterior doors, including the front doors, all other main exterior doors, and the exterior doors in the youth centre and the fitness studio, will be new, and the windows along the front of the building will be replaced.
“We want to make sure the building lasts for a lot of years.”
New lighting upgrades for the building will result in significant energy savings. “In the gym alone, the lights are so inefficient we’ve been told we’ll see a big difference with that one room alone.”
Trill adds that while not all the lighting will be replaced immediately, they hope to do as much as possible.
The HUB has also received funding from Northern Development Initiative Trust to install sound baffling in the gym. “Jim Duncan, Jan Schmitz, and Daniel Collett are figuring it out,” she says.
Material will be hung on three sides of the gym to cut down on reverberation, echoes, and sound bouncing off the walls, with the baffles being able to be raised and lowered as needed. “We didn’t want to lose the opportunity to use it as a gym,” says Trill, adding that she hopes the baffling will be in place and ready to use by the end of April.