SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lake Superior State University has successfully sold bonds to finance a $23.6 million infrastructure upgrade that includes new roofing throughout the 41-building campus.

School officials said planned improvements will ultimately improve safety, security and sustainability, and even install a more robust wireless IT network across LSSU’s 115-acre campus.

Further, the school said the bonding milestone begins a multi-decade commitment to reduce LSSU’s use of water, electricity, and natural gas, resulting in substantial energy-cost savings.

Upgrades throughout the campus – such as new roofing, lighting, and upgraded heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC) systems - should be completed by winter 2020.

The front-loaded upgrades will transition into a long-term performance contract with Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls (JCI) that is expected to generate $71 million in energy and operational savings over the course of 30 years, according to the school.

The savings will be used to finance the bonds, but a majority of it will be rolled into initiatives like improving fire/safety systems, expanding keyless entry, and enhancing instructional facilities.

“This collaborative project with JCI is designed to serve as an example for our students and the community, as LSSU makes great progress in reducing its carbon footprint and reducing its energy costs,” said Rodney Hanley, president of Lake Superior State University. “Investment by LSSU into its infrastructure is focused on student safety and the educational environment.”