HASTINGS, Neb. – Construction is underway on a geothermal heating and air conditioning project at Hastings High School.

Digging of 200 foot holes for a well field at 14th St. and Burlington Ave. began in late April and will continue on the west side of the Hastings High Auditorium through the summer.

The new system will reduce the load on the boiler units which were installed when Hastings High School was built in 1955.

$3 million of the $3.6 million dollar price tag will be covered by federal funding, including dollars from the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides incentives for the installation of geothermal systems.

Additionally, district officials estimate a yearly savings of $75,000 on utility costs when the system is operational.

Future needs were considered when designing the system to allow for changes to the Hastings High School site in decades to come.

Rutts Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. of Hastings is the general contractor for the project.