Topeka Public Schools and Westar Energy have reached an agreement which will result in a new sub-station for Westar and a wind turbine for Topeka Public Schools. Both will be located on the school district’s Kanza property.
At a news conference today, Board of Education President Patrick Woods announced that Westar would purchase 2.3 acres of the former state hospital grounds to build a sub-station. Westar will pay the school district $300,000 for the piece of land. The sub-station will be located between the current power plant and the barn, located on the north end of the Kanza property. The school district will demolish the power plant to make way for construction of the sub-station. Westar will pay $150,000 to the school district for the demolition.
Westar will also donate $200,000 up to $250,000 to Topeka Public Schools so the school district can purchase and install a 100 kW electric generation wind turbine. Future plans include turning the barn into an educational facility where students can learn about renewable energy. BOE President Woods said about the Westar donation, "This is a huge thing for our students as far as giving us additional tools to educate them and getting them ready to go into the workforce." "We are especially happy to be a part of this because we know this will bring educational opportunities to many of the students in Topeka," said Westar Vice President and COO Doug Sternbenz.
Making the announcement today along with Patrick Woods and Doug Sterbenz was Board of Education Vice President Hal Gardner.