XENIA — Greene County Commissioners approved a move Tuesday that could eventually help to upgrade some of the county’s buildings.
At its Tuesday meeting the board approved the county’s services department to advertise for energy consulting firms that could work the county on various projects, including one that has been on the minds of county officials for some time: a heating and cooling system upgrade project for the county’s downtown-Xenia buildings. The firm would work on an “as needed” basis for the 2015-2020 period.
Once the consulting firm is chosen, it would work with the county on analysis, planning and other work relating to the county’s energy usage. One of the first projects it would likely consider would be the heating and cooling system improvements county officials have discussed for the county courthouse and jail, as well as at county government offices housed at 61 and 69 Greene St., Xenia.
Currently the four buildings are heated by steam boilers originally made in the 1960s. Project upgrades would center around replacing that system and other old units with modern heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) units. County officials have discussed replacing those systems with ones that could be controlled with a computer or a smartphone, but the new consulting firm would help to determine what the best option for those replacements would be.
One estimate to replace the systems at all the sites put the total project cost between $4.8 and $5 million.
While funding and specific project plans have not been finalized, the county’s courthouse would likely be the first of the buildings to receive upgrades starting in the summer of 2016, with each of the other buildings following annually until the project is completed.