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STARBASE students learn the benefits of using geothermal energy

Jan. 21, 2022 | By Bailey Hittle
Students at the Lenexa armory STARBASE class learned a little about how geothermal energy can keep a building warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

The Lenexa Readiness Center will be upgraded with a new geothermal-based heating, ventilation and air conditioning system designed by Latimer Sommers & Associates, P.A. The project was awarded to Central Mechanical Construction Company in October 2021. Capt. Tim Burton, a project manager with the Kansas Army National Guard Construction and Facilities Management Office, presented an overview on this upcoming project to the STARBASE class Dec. 10. 

The Geothermal HVAC Replacement Project at the Lenexa Readiness Center will begin with the contractor drilling 24 vertical well pipes, 400-feet deep each, placed in the motor pool. Burton’s presentation explained the process of heat exchange from the ground to each well pipe, and how geothermal energy will provide hot air to the building in the winter and remove the heat from the building in the summer via a heat pump in the mechanical room. At the end of the presentation, Burton asked the kids the top five benefits of this HVAC geothermal project and the students’ responses covered each benefit shown on a poster board shown during the presentation.

“I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to interact with the STARBASE students,” said Burton. “It was good to see young minds interested in the science going on behind the project at the armory. The students were attentive and were full of relevant questions about renewable energy technology.”

STARBASE is a national Department of Defense initiative designed to inspire future generations of students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  Kansas STARBASE operates the highest number of sites in the nation with five sites (Lenexa, Manhattan, Salina, Topeka and Wichita).

To learn more about the STARBASE program visit