Solar array to increase energy efficiency for Nevada State College

Installation to benefit campus facilities and environmental science students
By Mandi Enger
Working towards the development of a more self-sustained campus, Nevada State College (NSC) has installed a 205-kilowatt solar array on its emerging 509-acre property in Henderson. With construction beginning in October 2012, the array will be fully operational mid-February.
In the first year of use, NSC estimates the solar array will provide 30 percent of the power needed for the Liberal Arts and Sciences building, saving the college nearly $28,000 in energy costs.
As NSC continues to expand in both square footage and enrollment, we’ve made a long-term commitment to increase our energy efficiency and to reduce our carbon footprint, said Buster Neel, the college’s vice president of finance and administration. The solar panels will assist with this goal while also providing the college a substantial cost savings.
Funding for the construction and materials was provided through an NV Energy rebate program, RenewableGenerations, which provided upwards of $780,000 for the project.
The project contractor, Black Rock Solar, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the expansion of renewable energy sources. The business has built systems for other public institutions such as schools, churches, hospitals, and museums.
Black Rock Solar is proud to be able to provide this array – the second largest we’ve built so far – to NSC, said Black Rock Solar Executive Director Patrick McCully. The school can now put money it once spent on electricity into serving its richly diverse student body. This is the fifth array we’ve completed for a school in the Nevada System of Higher Education and we applaud their commitment to sustainability through building clean solar power.
The solar array system is comprised of photovoltaic polycrystalline panels, each measuring 3 feet by 5 feet, covering approximately one acre of the college.
NSC is additionally working to increase energy efficiency throughout all campus buildings, including the leased Dawson building and downtown Basic and Water buildings. Efforts include the use of variable frequency drives (VFDs), which control the rate that mechanical devices such as lights and air conditioners power up; Nest Generation Thermostats, smart devices that sense the number of building occupants in order to assess and adjust temperature needs; and the use of LED light bulbs.
Plans for future building development on campus, including the college’s current proposal for a 60,000 square-foot nursing and education building and a 50,000 square-foot student center and administration facility, include tactics for achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
The solar array will additionally play a role in providing hands-on experience to students in environmental science courses at the college.
While the main purpose of the solar array is to supply clean electricity to the campus, we will begin to utilize its educational value in environmental science and meteorology classes this spring semester, said Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Edwin Price. Students will be able to monitor the array’s output instantaneously online at home and in the classroom. Very importantly, students will be able to make their own calculations of the amount of fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, that the solar array has saved over the period of their course.

Legislative committee approves college development plans

By Mandi Enger
The Nevada State College (NSC) campus development plans were unanimously approved by the Nevada Legislature Interim Finance Committee (IFC) during a session held today in Carson City, Nev.
The NSC campus community is appreciative of the legislature’s vote of confidence in our development plans, but more importantly, in our mission, said NSC President Bart Patterson.
As the project progresses, the college will continue to work with the State Treasurer’s Office, Board of Finance, and Board of Examiners to achieve the next phase of approvals. Updated documentation will then be presented to the Nevada Board of Regents for final approval during an upcoming meeting.
The college received preliminary board approval on the plans during a meeting held Jan. 11.
Students across the campus have acknowledged the need for the new buildings, said Nevada State Student Alliance President Deuvall Dorsey during the IFC meeting. We are truly the fastest growing institution of higher education in the state our campus expansion has been a long time coming and we’re proud to be moving forward.
Financing for the project will utilize repurposed funds from existing building leases in downtown Henderson, capital funding, as well as a $150 student fee. In a 2011 survey, a vast majority of students strongly approved of the development plans and the associated fee.
The two buildings, a combined nursing and education facility, and a student center and administration building, will add approximately 110,000 square-feet of new space on the developing 509-acre campus in Henderson.
The 60,000 square-foot nursing and education building is planned to house several anatomy labs, over a dozen classrooms, a large auditorium, faculty and staff offices, and a cutting-edge media center. The second building, the 50,000 square-foot student center and administration building, will house the college’s student services departments, study and activity space for students, and offices for administration.
Upon final approval from the Board of Regents, construction is estimated to span 14-months. In total, the NSC Master Plan includes the future development of educational, student support, and administrative facilities over 340-acres of the campus land.

School of Education introduces study abroad program to Dublin, Ireland

First cohort to travel this June
By Mandi Enger
The Nevada State College (NSC) School of Education has announced its first study abroad program. Available to students of all majors at the college, the initial cohort will study at the Marino Institute of Education (MIE), an associated college of the University of Dublin, Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland June 10-21, 2013.
Studying or working abroad can be life changing and help shape one’s values, beliefs, attitude, and worldview, commented Kevin Graziano, associate professor of the School of Education and NSC coordinator for the program. Students participating in the program will be exposed to global and cultural perspectives different from their own and will have a competitive edge when they return to the States to start their career.
The study abroad program was initiated by Graziano after completing a fellowship at MIE in 2012.
Taught by an MIE professor, the program will offer a two week, three-credit course in language learning. The curriculum will focus on historical, political, and social factors related to second language acquisition. Course content will also cover instructional considerations for second language learning in grades K-12.
Classes will meet five days a week for four-hour periods. Participants will have afternoons, evenings, and weekends free to travel and explore Ireland, added Graziano. Students will be accompanied on the trip by a School of Education faculty member.
The program cost of $1,573 includes tuition, fees, two excursions, and room and board. Federal and NSC financial aid may be applied. Participants will additionally be required to have passports and medical/travel insurance.
Applications will be accepted by the School of Education through March 15. NSC students of all majors are eligible to apply. A minimum of 10 applicants are needed to launch the first program; over 25 applications have been requested to-date.
Moving forward, NSC plans to offer the study abroad program each summer with course offerings varying year to year.
Please contact Dr. Kevin Graziano in the School of Education for application information at or 702-992-2058.