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Tech Assists Living History Museum


2/14/2012

Students and faculty from Montana Tech’s College of Technology are partnering with the Montana Heritage Commission, the Nevada City Living History Museum and Kenworthy Electric to make improvements to the museum. The students will be assisting in the installation of a 250 sq. ft. photovoltaic solar power array and period-appropriate street lights. The solar array is large enough to offset the museum’s entire electric bill for a yearly cost savings of approximately $7,000.

"One of the hallmarks for the education of our students at Montana Tech is our focus on giving them as much ‘hands-on’ experience as we can," said John Jackam, Instructor in Sustainable Energy Technology. "It does not get any better than this for our students – actual experience on a real project providing wonderful value and benefit to the community."

Members of the Nevada City Living History Museum are holding a fundraiser February 18th and 19th during the Wild West Winter Fest at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. Museum Curator, Dan Thayer, said that this fundraiser will help them raise the nearly $28,000 necessary to make this project a reality. Northwestern Energy has already committed to a $6,500 renewable energy grant. Dan Kenworthy of Kenworthy Electric in Sheridan has volunteered his expertise in solar energy to oversee the installation of the system in Nevada City.

Four of the College of Technology’s programs will be involved: the Sustainable Energy Technology Program will be assisting with the installation and commissioning of the solar power system; the Pre-Apprentice Lineman Program will dig the trenches required for the power lines; and both the Carpentry Program and Historic Preservation Program will assist with the installation of the new street light poles.

"This is another of our American Democracy Projects," said Dr. John M. Garic, Dean of the College of Technology. "With these projects, in addition to learning their respective academic disciplines, our students are learning the value of being good citizens and giving back to the communities in which they live."