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Glendale Unified School District hopes to go green with pool

Cogeneration and solar energy are heating alternatives being considered.

April 25, 2013|By Kelly Corrigan, kelly.corrigan@latimes.com

With the groundbreaking of Glendale Unified's new aquatic center still a year away, school officials have hired a firm to explore adding renewable energy sources to the pool's design to save on future operating costs.

The outdoor pool will be built at Glendale High School, but will serve the entire district. The $9.4 million project is still in the design phase.

School officials have estimated the pool will cost Glendale Unified $200,000 to $300,000 per year to heat, maintain pumps and purchase chemicals.

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In an effort to reduce costs, school officials have hired Fort Worth, Texas-based Jacobs Engineering at a cost of $26,500 to explore adding renewable energy sources that will make annual maintenance more affordable.

The new pool will be significantly larger than Glendale High's current pool so that both water polo games and lane races can be held at the same time, said Alan Reising, Glendale Unified's facilities planning administrator.

Pools are traditionally warmed by a boiler that uses natural gas to heat the water. Glendale Unified officials have tasked Jacobs Engineering to explore alternate heating methods.

Reising said the firm will study whether a cogeneration plant could be the most cost-effective way to heat the pool. That method would employ an engine to burn natural gas to heat the pool and generate electricity for Glendale High.

"It sounds great, but we might find out it costs more," Reising said, adding the firm will also explore installing solar-thermal panels.

Company officials will present their findings to school officials in the coming weeks.

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Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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