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John Redden converses with Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski during a gathering for Northwest employees in 2011. The University will dedicate the renaming of its Power Plant in Redden's honor during a June 11 ceremony. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

John Redden converses with Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski during a gathering for Northwest employees in 2011. The University will dedicate the renaming of its Power Plant in Redden's honor during a June 11 ceremony. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

June 5, 2019

Northwest to rename Power Plant in honor of Redden

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The Power Plant was constructed on the newly established Northwest campus in conjunction with the Administration Building, which opened in 1910. In 1928, the University built a taller smoke stack and rebuilt a portion of the Power House when they installed a 390-horsepower steam boiler. (Northwest Missouri State University Archives)

The Power Plant was constructed on the newly established Northwest campus in conjunction with the Administration Building, which opened in 1910. In 1928, the University built a taller smoke stack and rebuilt a portion of the Power House when they installed a 390-horsepower steam boiler. (Northwest Missouri State University Archives)

Northwest’s innovative alternative fuels program involves the burning of wood and paper pellets, which account for 58 percent of the campus’ total energy consumption and 88 percent of its heating requirement. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

Northwest’s innovative alternative fuels program involves the burning of wood and paper pellets, which account for 58 percent of the campus’ total energy consumption and 88 percent of its heating requirement. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

The Northwest Missouri State University community will gather Tuesday, June 11, to honor one of its longest-serving employees and rename its Power Plant in his honor.

The public is invited to the Power Plant for the event, which will include tours of the building from 3 to 5 p.m. A ceremony celebrating the dedication of the John C. Redden Jr. Power Plant begins at 4 p.m. in Lot 18, located between Wells Hall and the Power Plant on the Northwest campus. Refreshments will be served.

Northwest’s Board of Regents approved the renaming last December.

Redden, who died Nov. 12, 2018, dedicated 45 years of service to Northwest as a staff member in its Facility Services area. He began his connection with Northwest in the late 1960s as a general labor worker for a company overseeing the construction of Northwest’s Valk Center. He joined the Northwest staff shortly after to work at the power plant and retired in 2014.

Redden played a key role in the planning and 1982 launch of Northwest’s innovative alternative fuels program, which has saved the University nearly $16 million in energy costs. Today, the alternative fuels program is one of the University’s signature initiatives with wood and paper fuels accounting for 58 percent of the campus’ total energy consumption and 88 percent of its heating requirement. The American Association of State College and Universities presented Northwest with its 2017 Excellence and Innovation Award for Sustainability and Sustainable Development in recognition of the University’s ongoing commitment and results in alternative energy.

He also was instrumental in numerous building and renovation projects, including the construction of the former aquatic center, which was refurbished in 2015 as the Robert and Virginia Foster Fitness Center. As a volunteer firefighter, Redden helped fight the 1979 Administration Building fire both on the ground and inside the historic structure.

Used as coal-fired operation until its conversion to wood fuel, Northwest’s Power Plant was completed around 1910 in conjunction with the Administration Building to support the new campus. The facility is connected by a 2-mile network of utility tunnels throughout the campus that carry steam as well as HVAC-chilled water to more than 30 buildings. For more information about Northwest’s alternative fuels program, click here.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468