Miscellaneous » Capital Campaign for Sustainability » 2014-2015 Capital Campaign for Sustainability

2014-2015 Capital Campaign for Sustainability

Carla and Alan Weldy
On May 18, 2014 Bethany Christian Schools publicly launched a $5.6 million Capital Campaign for Sustainability to fund urgently-needed and energy-efficient green technology, computer technology, and endowment needs.

Capital Campaign chair Alan Weldy, vice president at IU Health Goshen, emphasizes that sustainability for Bethany encompasses not only becoming more energy efficient, but also transforming the school into a living/learning lab, staying on the cutting edge of educational tools and resources, and ensuring ongoing financial resources.
A New Frontier
Responding to advances in computer and green technology, Bethany commissioned a task force in 2011 to investigate and analyze opportunities to incorporate the latest cost-saving technology applications at Bethany.
Unveiling funds raised at kickoff
This task force toured state-of-the-art facilities, met with energy industry experts, reviewed findings of a feasibility energy audit, and analyzed options. This led the task force to evaluate the implementation of green technology plant upgrades, assess opportunities for forward-looking computer technologies, examine financial alternatives for ensuring that initiatives would be sustainable and would position Bethany as a steward of resources congruent with Mennonite values.

A New Vision for Sustainability

Bethany envisions a transformation of its campus into a “living learning lab” where students and adults practice sustainability at new levels in their daily activities.“Our campus will be an embodiment of the values we are trying to teach,” says Environmental Science teacher Amy Thut.

“When we learn about the importance of conserving natural gas, I will be able to show student our geothermal heating system and newly-insulated roof.

“A unit on the Elkhart River will tie directly into how we are conserving water on campus.

“Our study of the detrimental effects of mining and burning coal for electricity will lead to an analysis of how our new lights are conserving kilowatts.”

Bethany anticipates additional benefits such as an enhanced classroom learning environment, lower costs due to improved energy conservation and efficiency, the opportunity to demonstrate faith-based earth care values, and the differentiation of Bethany as a leading-edge educational institution.

Green Energy Implementation

Past campaign chairs Bob Miller and Bob Steury chat at the Kickoff reception in Bethany's Friendship Garden.

The significant piece of the first phase of the campaign—the green energy project—is the installation of a geothermal well field and plant controls that will provide 90% of energy needed for heating and cooling. Complementing this addition will be a computerized system to manage temperature throughout the facility, an upgrade to existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, and a new roof that will house insulation and ductwork for the new HVAC system. The implementation of this first phase began in May with completion anticipated by fall 2014.

Phase two—anticipated for summer 2015—includes remaining items such as the installation of solar panels and a wind turbine, replacement of windows and doors, and moving the art room to the more energy-efficient main academic building.

Faithful Stewards

For 60 years, Bethany has enabled students to discover the call to follow Christ and live out their faith in the church and the world. Indeed, Bethany fosters “learning that lasts and faith that lives.”

Senior Katie Hurst says, “An important topic for my generation has been sustainability. Along with strong academic preparation and opportunities for critical thinking and growth, Bethany’s sustainability initiative prepares students to think about real world problems, and work at finding solutions.”

As of the May 18 Kickoff, $4.1 millions funds have been raised—nearly 75% of the goal—so additional funds are still needed.

As parent and business owner Steve Brenneman notes, “A campaign involves risk.” But when he envisions looking back in ten years on what he is proud of about Bethany, he believes this campaign will stand out.

People across the Bethany community embrace their various roles as faithful stewards: faculty who provide a safe, stimulating, and faith-filled Bethany experience for students who choose Bethany; alumni who live out Bethany values; board members who govern and guide Bethany’s mission; and Bethany friends who provide financial resources. All are stewards of the physical plant and landscape that comprise the campus.

Capital Campaign Cabinet: Henry and Joni DeLeeuw, Carla and Alan Weldy, Randy Christophel, Cindy Hawkins, Victoria Brenneman, Lori Christophel, Allan Dueck, Steve Brenneman, Tim Morgan, Jim Alvarez, Scott Richer, Bob Miller, Bob Steury, Michael Laudick, Dan Bodiker; (not pictured) Jon Helmuth, Sandy Morgan, Carl and Lovina Rutt
Green Energy Planning Committee: Brent Miller, Glenn Gilbert, Dave Hawkins, Doug Steury, Scott Richer, Allan Dueck