Growing the Campus for a Sustainable Future

Prescott College breaks ground on three student townhouses

 

"With plans to employ practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions, we’re walking our talk about the environment and sustainability.”

Growth in nature is perceived as beautiful and healthy. So too can growth in the built environment be considered both productive and beneficial when pursued with the ideals of cultural and environmental sustainability in mind.

Prescott College will break ground on three new student townhouses Thursday June 30, 2011 at 10 a.m. All are welcome to the celebration which begins with refreshments and campus tours at the newly renovated Daniel and Barbara Garvey Welcome Center at 202 Grove Avenue on the corner of Grove and Western, (formerly the Credit Union West Prescott branch office).

“It’s a win-win situation for all involved,” says Jack Herring, Dean of On-Campus Undergraduate Programs at Prescott College. He explains that the school has seen a shift in the on-campus student body over the past 10 years. “More and more of our students are first-time college students coming to us straight from home. There’s a need for a lot of transitional support as these young people start their journey into adulthood. The housing is an integral and tangible piece of that support system.”

Research demonstrates that new students who live in college housing are often more successful in completing their studies. Additionally, revenue generated from housing fees will feed directly back into the College’s operational budget, providing added financial stability and the foundation for further institutional development – expanded curricular offerings, added student support staff, and further renovations and improvements to the campus.

In close consult with architect Phil Weddle of Weddle Gilmore Architects, Haley Construction Co. of Prescott will build the 104-bed facility, situated on the western end of the campus in an area bounded by Willow, Garden, and Sheldon Streets and Western Avenue, to U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification requirements.

The selection of Haley Construction demonstrates a “huge commitment to a Prescott business and to the community of Prescott,” says Prescott College President Dr. Kristin Woolever. “Additionally, with plans to employ practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions, we’re walking our talk about the environment and sustainability.”

With construction scheduled to be completed by June 2012, the incoming class of freshman for the following fall term can expect homes that boast passive solar design, solar photovoltaic technology, and EnergyStar appliances and high-efficiency lighting fixtures, all of which mean the buildings will generate 100 percent of their own power and still contribute energy back into the grid.

Living “water conscious” in an arid desert state is built in for students with the use of low-flow water fixtures, rainwater catchment and storage for irrigation of landscaping, and expanded parking for cars and bicycles designed for water infiltration.

And that’s just the beginning. According to James Pittman, Director of Sustainability for Prescott College, “The school has a keen interest in developing policies for future construction and renovation that go beyond LEED certification in order to validate values and methods unique to the College’s culture and bioregional identity.”

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