Loras College's purple and gold going green - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Loras College's purple and gold going green

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Loras College and Dubuque 2.0 have formed a unique partnership to make sustainability hit home with students.

A grant from the Iowa Office of Energy Independence allowed Loras to install meters on its four residence halls previously without the devices. Now the college can monitor students' energy consumption in all seven halls. That includes water, electricity, steam and recycling.

Dubuque 2.0 got on board and helped Loras with a program called the Use Less, Win More Challenge, where residence halls compete to conserve the most energy. Dubuque 2.0 created Web portal, on which students can visually track their hall's energy usage. The challenge also includes educational outreach on campus.

Eric Dregne is the vice president of programs at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. Dubuque 2.0 is an initiative of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque and the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce and is meant to encourage the community to learn about and enact sustainability.

"They had a great opportunity to do metering on their dorms, we had a great opportunity to build a web portal to be able to see the results of all that metering and share it not just with the students, but with the whole community," Dregne said.

The community can monitor Loras students' progress HERE or can participate in the Dubuque 2.0 Sustainability Challenge on its WEBSITE.

"The goal of Dubuque 2.0 is to inspire sustainability in the Dubuque community," Dregne said.

Loras aims to make even its renovation projects sustainable.

"Our goal is to be carbon-neutral by 2030," Loras director of communications Sue Hafkemeyer said, "so we're working toward that goal, and with every renovation, we see another chance to do that."

One such renovation is at the Graber Sports Center.

In addition to the new flooring and paint job, Hafkemeyer said, "We'll be putting more energy-efficient lighting into the Graber Center, which will cost some money up from but will certainly save us in the long run in terms of energy efficiency - 50 percent is what we're anticipating, in terms of our costs will be cut as a result of the new lighting.

Loras is also renovating its cafeteria, The Cafe. Both that and the sports center are set to be done by fall of 2011.

Loras is partnering with its food service provider of 25 years, Aramark, in the more than $750,000 renovation of The Cafe.

The Graber Sports Center funding came from a $250,000 anonymous donation.

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