Centralia Coal Transition Grants Weatherization Board supports student housing improvements

For immediate release

Centralia, (September 6, 2018) The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Weatherization Board is pleased to announce it has approved a grant to upgrade a 20-unit apartment complex which is occupied with student tenants attending Centralia College. The added benefit to these weatherization and energy efficiency improvements will be a reduction in utility bills for students and, creating a more comfortable living environment as students spend time focusing on their education.

The grant amount of $95,284 will be used to replace old, single-pane, aluminum-framed windows and hollow-core exterior doors with new double-pane, energy-efficient, vinyl-framed windows and new, solid-core insulated doors. By improving the existing infrastructure, the college is not only supporting their energy efficiency goals but improving the comfort and safety of students.

“When board members discuss applications submitted to the Weatherization Board, the primary consideration is whether the project aligns with the mission of the Weatherization Board,” said Lori Schmitt, Weatherization Board Member. “This project aligns with the board mission. The project provides cost-effective, weatherization solutions that demonstrate permanent energy savings. With this application we found that being able to fund a project that is going to put some money back into a student’s pocket is another benefit to approving the application.”

The Weatherization Board was formed as part of the 2011 Agreement between TransAlta and the state of Washington to transition the Centralia plant away from coal-fired operations with one unit shutting down in December 2020 and the second unit in December 2025.

“While new facilities constructed by the college are extremely energy efficient, bringing the older buildings up to similar performance levels is challenging and expensive” said Steve Ward, Vice President, Finance and Administration, at Centralia College. “The Weatherization grant provided Centralia College the ability to make significant progress toward sustainability goals and reducing energy consumption.  It also helped extend the useful life of a 50-year-old building by making it more efficient and safer.  The community is fortunate to have access to funds that allow this type of work to be done.  We are very grateful to the Weatherization Board for considering this project among many for funding.”

Founded in 1925, Centralia College is the oldest, continuous operating college in the state of Washington. Centralia College is now a 30-acre campus located in the center of Centralia that sees an average annual enrollment of 10,500 students served by approximately 260 full-time employees.

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:

Annual payments for the funding boards began in 2012 with the last payment due Dec. 31, 2023.  The opportunity to start flowing dollars into projects became effective December 31, 2015.

Weatherization Board ($10M): established to fund energy efficiency and weatherization for the residents, employees, business, non-profit organizations and local governments within Lewis County and South Thurston County; up to $1 million shall be allocated to fund residential energy efficiency and weatherization measures for low-income and moderate-income residents of Lewis County and South Thurston County;

Economic & Community Development Board ($20M): established to fund education, retraining, economic development, and community enhancement; at least $5M shall be allocated to fund education, retraining and economic development specifically targeting the needs of workers displaced from the Centralia facility;

Energy Technology Board ($25M): established to fund energy technologies with the potential to create environmental benefits to the state of Washington.

For more information on the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards visit:

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