Scott Kellner

Eudora High School will likely soon have a new addition near the stadium concession stand.

A smaller scale wind turbine will be used for educational purposes as well as supply some power to the concession stand and the press box.  Scott Keltner, a Math teacher and Joe Pickett a science teacher, both at Eudora High, have been spearheading the project.

Keltner stated in a recent Eudora planning commission meeting “This will be an excellent tool not only from a mathematics stands point, but it will also allow us to help teach the kids about the inner workings of a wind powered turbine.”

The turbine will have the ability to be raised and lowered so students can look at the motors and mechanisms involved in the operation of a turbine. The turbine from base to the top point of the blades at its maximum highest point is 51 feet. These types of smaller wind turbines have been placed at several locations including the Kansas City Metro area and in Topeka.

Superintendent Don Gosdidier has been very supportive of the project since the idea came about in 2009. He emphasized that due to budget restrictions of the School District, that no District money be used for the project.  Funding for this project was secured through the M.R. & Evelyn Hudson Foundation Discretionary Grant program.

One of the larger hurdles of obtaining the necessary permits was completed successfully Wednesday night when the Eudora Planning Commission passed 5-2, the Use Permitted Upon Review (UPUR) permit for the turbine. Commissioner Ken Adkinson raised concerns about the location of the turbine since it will stand 58 feet from the west property line of the school grounds. His main focus was about noise from the turbine, particularly if this land ever is developed as a residential area.

Commissioners held off a vote on the permit for a month while Commission members toured various other turbines throughout the region. Many of the Council members, particularly those that visited Kansas City area locations, noticed no significant noise from the turbines visited. Commissioner Adkinson did make a point of traveling to an elementary school north of Pamona, KS where a wind turbine is installed. This is a more rural and often very quiet area.  Commissioner Adkinson stated that the noise was definitely audible at this location.

Several students from Eudora High School were in attendance and spoke in support of the project to the Planning Commission.  Anthony Mersmenn, a senior at Eudora High School, and someone who wants to study engineering, spoke as to how this would not only help him with engineering studies, but “to any student interested in alternative energy technology.”

A final city permit will need to be obtained from the Eudora City Council. In preliminary communications District staff has conducted with City Council members, it is expected to pass easily.

A similar tower to the one that will be installed in Eudora is pictured below. This tower is located in Topeka, near 21st Street and Gage.