Contemporary Arts Center receives state grant for green upgrades

The Contemporary Arts Center is one of two Hamilton County organizations to receive considerable grant funding from the state of Ohio to support energy efficiency projects at the downtown Cincinnati facility.

CAC plans to use the $268,500 it will receive from the Advanced Energy Fund to balance its existing air handling unit systems, replace a building automation system and automate monthly energy reporting.

Additionally, the city of Springdale is getting $641,813 to install new LED lighting fixtures and direct digital control systems as well as complete a chiller upgrade.

“The savings from these projects will empower these organizations to redirect more funding toward critical areas like health care, public safety, and economic development – all with the goal of improving the quality of life for Ohioans,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement on Tuesday.

In total, DeWine announced six grants, to five Ohio counties, issued through the Advanced Energy Fund. The Ohio Department of Development administers the fund, which provides financial resources to businesses, nonprofits, municipalities and educational institutions to complete energy efficiency projects.

These kinds of projects are ways to reduce costs, better the environment and improve the lives of people in Ohio’s communities, according to Carolyn Hefner, CAC’s chief of external affairs.

“This grant is an investment in CAC’s mission and in our Cincinnati community,” Hefner said. “By helping us reduce energy expenses, we can invest more into our programing, exhibitions and community outreach initiatives, which all have transformational impacts on our guests and in our community as we chronicle the ideas of our time through contemporary art.”

Creating financial ‘breathing room’ for Ohio organizations

The Advanced Energy Fund has allocated a total of $8.5 million for this round of funding so far this year. In addition to $5.4 million awarded this week, the state announced $3.1 million in grants on May 8 as part of the first round of funding.

Funding will cover the costs of projects such as energy efficiency retrofits, LED lighting, solar power upgrades, weather sealing and the installation of more eco-friendly windows and doors.

To qualify for a grant, an organization had to show how their proposal would reduce their energy use and utility costs would decrease by at least 15%.

The CAC, for instance, expects the museum to experience annual utility savings of around 19%. Springdale’s figure is closer to 21%.

Lydia Mihalik, director of the Department of Development, said by reducing energy costs, these organizations are receiving the “financial breathing room they need to innovate and enhance the vital services they provide to residents.”

“Each of these organizations play a crucial role in their communities, and these grants ensure they have the resources they need to continue their important work,” she added.

Contemporary Arts Center


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