Senior Center to power up with solar

Senior Center Director Elaine Bremner and Sam Blom wield golden shovels to turn earth. Also (l-r) are Lana Tolleson, Linda Norman, Dennis Tomko, Andrea Harless, Councilwoman  and Casey Rooney of Economic Development, Councilwoman Karen Pfeifer, Blom. With Bremner on right are Doug Stroh and Isabel Rollins. Courtesy Beach's on Location

Senior Center Director Elaine Bremner and Sam Blom wield golden shovels to turn earth. Also (l-r) are Lana Tolleson, Linda Norman, Dennis Tomko, Andrea Harless, Councilwoman and Casey Rooney of Economic Development, Councilwoman Karen Pfeifer, Blom. With Bremner on right are Doug Stroh and Isabel Rollins. Courtesy Beach's on Location

COTTONWOOD -- The Verde Valley Senior Center broke ground Monday to formally kick off installation of solar power for the Verde Valley Senior Center. Director Elaine Bremner says the new installation will provide 80 percent of the electricity for the facility. Electric service currently costs the center about $2,000 per month. The solar panels are mounted over part of the north parking lot to also provide shade for parking.

Doug Stroh of Stroh Architecture and Associates of Prescott says the facility has "a perfect east west alignment" which means it is ideal for collecting the rays of the sun year round. The 2006 Governor's Heritage Preservation Award was presented to the Center for its "adaptive reuse of the former Clemenceau Smelter Building." Stroh was also the architect on that project. He says the building has little trouble with heating, but has a lot of need for air conditioning in the summer.

Also on hand for the ground breaking was Isabel Rollins, the northern Arizona Council of Government s Grants Administrator for the CDGB program and Economic Development Director Casey Rooney and his Assistant Andrea Harless as well as Sam Blom, Chairman of the Senior Center Board and board member Dennis Tomko.

The project was actually awarded almost three years ago, but it has working its way through the system ever since.

And in fact, the contractor broke ground last Monday, but the ceremony had to wait out the rain storm passed. So, the groundbreaking was taking place as construction was ongoing.

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