Improved energy efficiency makes Lincoln City Community Center greener and more resilient

Improved energy efficiency makes Lincoln City Community Center greener and more resilient

The Lincoln City Community Center is a local hub for health and wellness serving residents of all ages and featuring a walking track, pool, gymnasium and meeting rooms. Lincoln City residents and vacationers alike enjoy the Community Center’s indoor rock-climbing wall, take swimming lessons and compete in pickleball tournaments. The Community Center also serves as an emergency shelter during wildfire season and during extreme heat events.

As the 1980’s-era facility aged, problems started popping up. The Community Center’s roof began leaking and the temperature in the gymnasium became difficult to manage, partly due to failing roof insulation. Recognizing the importance of keeping the facility fully operational, Lincoln City Parks and Recreation (LCP&R), the city department that manages the Community Center, looked into installing new roof insulation during their roof replacement project.

When Jeanne Sprague, director at LCP&R, connected with Energy Trust of Oregon at the Oregon Recreation and Parks Association Annual Conference, she learned Energy Trust offers cash incentives for installing new, energy-efficient roof insulation.

Incentives helped stretch LCP&R’s limited budget

Whenever the roof leaked, the center would have to close the gymnasium to the public to clean up the area. The safety concerns the leak posed forced LCP&R to act with urgency, but the available capital improvement budget made that difficult. “We have to prioritize everything we do because there is always a running list of projects to get done and a limited budget to do it with,” said Sprague.

LCP&R received $3,000 in cash incentives from Energy Trust to replace the failing roof insulation with new, energy-efficient insulation. The additional funding came as a huge relief to Sprague and her department, as they prioritize being good stewards of community resources. “We try to keep our capital projects as low-cost as possible so that we don’t transfer that in any way to the public,” said Sprague.

Increased energy efficiency directly ties into LCP&R’s goals

Reducing operational costs and improving energy-efficiency supports LCP&R’s goal to contribute to the improved sustainability of the community. “Conservation is one of our main focuses, and saving energy is an aspect of that,” said Sprague. The Community Center’s new roof insulation regulates indoor temperatures better, helping the space retain heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. In total, LCP&R will save over $3,000 a year on energy bills.

In addition to LCP&R’s mission to be more sustainable, the department centers equity in all that they do to help staff make choices that truly serve all. “Our community is growing in size, as is the need for Parks and Recreation services,” said Sprague. “Lincoln City has the lowest socioeconomic status on the Oregon coast, and we take that into consideration with every step that we take.” The less LCP&R spends on utility costs, the more funds will become available to increase access and add additional services.

Energy Trust helps make energy-efficient upgrades happen quicker and for less

The Community Center’s new roof insulation helps keep the facility safer and more comfortable. This successful project has Sprague and her staff excited for the future of LCP&R. Now that the issues they were facing with the roof are behind them, the department is “going to be able to take on other deferred maintenance projects, many of which are energy zappers,” said Sprague.

Receiving support from Energy Trust on this project has permanently shifted LCP&R’s capital improvement approach. “We’re going to look at our projects with a green lens now, so the future looks pretty bright,” said Sprague.

Explore Energy Trust roof insulation and other equipment upgrade incentive opportunities for existing commercial buildings.