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Youngstown State invests in boilers to save cash, help engineering students
The $16 million project would replace vendor-sourced steam that costs $3 million

Tim Rudell
Even as other universities in Ohio are cutting back and closing facilities, Youngstown State is adding on. WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports on YSU's plan to save money by spending money.
LISTEN: Youngstown State invests in boilers to save cash, help engineering students

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Youngstown State pays $3 million a year to heat the campus with steam from a vendor. University vice-president Neal McNally says the school could run new-technology boilers of its own for a third of that. So it’s financing a $16 million expenditure to install them. That may seem odd in the face of the cutting elsewhere in higher education. But, McNally says, it’s not.

“We’ve done our fair share of reducing expenses as well. But the plan we have we think is a fairly balanced plan because, it does include expenditure reductions, but it also includes these types of investments that will help us reduce costs over the long term.”

McNally also says the plant can provide practical study opportunities for students in YSU’s power plant engineering program.

"Another benefit is that there will be educational opportunities for students, particularly in our engineering programs. We do have a power plant program and this obviously gives us a perfect venue to help those students learn more about the science behind steam heat."

McNally says the boilers will pay for themselves in just eight years, and then the $2 million savings will go to Youngstown State's bottom line. Construction of the new steam heat facility is set to begin in August.  
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