Edwards college has ‘green building’ scholarships | VailDaily.com

Edwards college has ‘green building’ scholarships

Jordan Curet/Special to the Daily

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – Colorado Mountain College is ready to pay the $1,600 cost for 12 people to attend a “green building” seminar at the end of the month, with only a few strings attached.

Those who successfully complete the week-long seminar will be certified through the Building Performance Institute to evaluate homes for energy efficiency improvements.

Now for the strings. The classes are open only to people already working full-time in the building industry, although that can include everyone from general contractors to plumbers to interior designers. The course is also open only to those legally able to work in this country. Sole-proprietor businesses can participate if the owners have the tax paperwork to prove they are who they say they are.

Mike McCurdy, of Eagle ,owns a small drywall business and has applied for a scholarship for the class. He acknowledged that it’s going to be tough for him to take a week off, but said he expects the decision to pay off down the road.

“In drywall you do a lot with insulation and holes in walls,” McCurdy said. “This seemed like a logical step.”

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While McCurdy is interested in incorporating insulation into his business, he acknowledged that the class will include information about other ways to make homes more efficient, and said he’s looking forward to learning more.

And, once someone earns the certificate, he or she is eligible to get the equipment to perform home energy audits, which cost about $300 per home.

Those audits and subsequent improvements are the point of the class, which is being sponsored by Energy Smart Colorado, using money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The state agency’s goal is to get 5,000 homes around the state retrofitted for better efficiency.

“To do that, they need analysts, and that’s what we’re doing,” Blackford said.

While she has a few applicants, Blackford still needs to fill the 12-person class, and the clock is ticking. All applications have to be in process by Oct. 17, the week before the class starts.

Besides the scholarship money for the energy analyst class, the college recently received a grant to fund scholarships for other, less-expensive classes about energy-efficient building. Blackford wants to ensure the scholarships, both for the professional-development opportunities and the oldest rule in the grant-application world: “If we spend this money, we can get more money,” she said.

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