University officials are set to spend $500,000 from a reserve fund to improve campus sustainability and save money at the same time.
The University’s cash management pool, a fund made up of hundreds of millions of dollars, will fund the projects, which will enhance conservation on campus.
Despite the large cost, the improved facilities will ultimately save the University money and offset all of the costs, replenishing the fund entirely, said those involved in the effort.
“Essentially we’re going to borrow money and then pay it back, but we won’t need to do that because the money will repay itself,” said Dick Mann, vice chancellor for finance and administration.
Stewart Boss, who has been spearheading the project with Student Body President Mary Cooper, said making money is not out of the question either.
“After the research we’ve done, we’ve seen schools come out of these revolving funds with up to 30 percent return on the investment,” Boss said.
The funds can go to any energy conservation projects, including some from the $600 million in deferred maintenance projects on University buildings.
Boss said financial restraints have caused the University to postpone maintenance on about 20 buildings.
“Obviously, as the oldest public university in the country, we have some very old buildings on campus, so there’s always plenty of work to do to reduce energy waste and improve energy efficiency,” Boss said.