If there was a recurrent theme from the Wednesday, May 8, wind turbine dedication ceremonies at Archbold and Pettisville, it was teamwork.
Whether it was the two school districts working together to explore and develop the wind turbine concepts, or state officials who helped fund the projects, or the construction firms that worked hand-in-hand to build the turbines, it was all about teams working together.
Aaron Godwin, founder of the Renaissance Group and consultant for both turbine projects, said those teams built the turbines for the students, not just as a way to save electricity, but to demonstrate what can happen when people begin to dream, and think about possibilities.
“You start with a good question,” Godwin said. “Can we do this?”
The turbines, he said, “are a result of what happens when you have good ideas, ask good questions, surround yourself with a good team, and work hard.
“You can do something truly magnificent, something that the whole nation can be proud of.”
Steve Switzer, Pettisville superintendent, said with the addition of the wind turbine, the school is now a “net-zero site,” meaning that the turbine can create all the energy the Pettisville school building needs to operate, and more.
During the Pettisville dedication ceremony, Eliot Hartzler, a junior, announced that the new school building received a gold rating in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, known as LEED, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Hartzler said the building was judged on a number of factors and received 54 points, four points shy of the top platinum rating.
Speaking at both events, Garrett Tinsman, Sauder Woodworking executive vice president of operations, presented both districts with a purchase agreement for renewable energy credits, or green tags.
The credits represent all of the positive environmental attributes of electricity generated by renewable energy sources such as wind.
Tinsman explained Sauder Woodworking began recycling before recycling was a commonplace term.
In the early 1950s, Tinsman said Erie Sauder, company founder, was making church pews and other furniture. As part of the production process, there was scrap lumber left over.
Sauder began making small tables from the scraps. A traveling salesman saw the tables, and placed a large order.
Later, Sauder came up with the idea of selling the tables partially disassembled. The disassembled tables saved fuel when shipped, thus reducing carbon emissions, and giving birth to the “ready-to-assemble” furniture industry.
Sauder Woodworking has agreed to purchase $7,500 of renewable energy credits per year for five years from each school.
This, Tinsman said, not only demonstrates the company’s stewardship of the environment, but also its support of schools.
Turbines And Music?
Speaking at the Archbold dedication, Godwin talked about the opportunities that students could find working in energy, and wind turbines in particular.
While engineers, chemists, and material scientists are, of course, important, he also pointed out athletics is important, because the people who climb to the top of a turbine to service it need to be fit enough to do their jobs.
Medical science comes into play with turbines, because they must be made safe not only for those who work on them, but who also live near them.
Even musicians can have a role. Musicians know harmonics. With a wind turbine, “If you don’t get the harmonics right, the turbine lays on the ground.”
He told the students they might be sick of hearing about it, but each of them are filled with potential, that they can do anything they want.
At both events, David Deskins, former Archbold superintendent, currently an associate superintendent at the Penta vocational school, was recognized for his contribution.
Switzer said he enjoyed working with Deskins.
Together, they made many trips to Columbus to talk to people.
“We talked to people who didn’t want to talk to us. We talked to people after they stopped listening to us,” he said.
He said they had a big dream, and worked together to make it happen.–David Pugh