Centre’s South Field expansion keeps sustainable practices at the forefront

Posted by Centre News in News, Sustainable Centre 21 Aug 2015

south_field_demoThe construction project that began earlier this summer on property purchased by Centre College between Russell and Dillehay Streets continues. When completed, the College will enjoy a much-needed expansion to the athletic facilities in the South Fields area—but, as with any construction Centre undertakes, it is being done with an eye toward sustainability.

The project required razing nearly all of the existing buildings on the property, many of which were empty and decaying. Rather than sending the resulting scrap to a landfill, however, the majority of it is being repurposed.

Jason Wooldridge of the Wooldridge Construction Group was responsible for the demolition on this very important campus expansion. He considers reclamation an integral part of the work he does, and the numbers for this site are impressive.

“We try to recycle everything that we can,” Wooldridge says. “Approximately 300 truck loads, or about 70 percent of this site, was recycled.”

According to Wooldridge, the wood from the demolition was sent to a company that refurbishes reclaimed wood, turning it into hardwood flooring. All of the metal was taken to a recycler, where it will be shredded, melted down and repurposed. The block and concrete was broken down and will be used for road base in Boyle County.

As a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), Centre is committed to reporting its carbon emissions levels annually and to achieving zero emissions by the year 2040. The President’s Climate Committee is a campus advisory group appointed each year by Centre President John Roush to advance the College’s pursuit of climate neutrality, coordinate Centre’s participation in the ACUPCC and offer advice on matters relating to sustainability and environmental concerns. Among several tangible goals laid out by the committee is the pursuit of energy efficiency and waste management of all construction and renovation projects on campus.

Preston Miles, John C. Walkup Professor of Chemistry, is the chair of the advisory committee.

“It really was amazing to see how much they could save,” Miles says. “Lots of things like roof trusses and concrete block were repurposed directly for other buildings. They collected the small metal for recycling and saved a lot of big joists and posts that will be repurposed as beautiful flooring and structural material.

“It took a lot of handwork and time to disassemble those buildings and save the material, rather than just ‘dozing them down,'” Miles continues. “Centre works hard to minimize landfilled waste from normal operations, but the reduction of potentially landfilled material from a big project like this is many-fold greater.”

After the area has been cleared, the College plans to build a new soccer facility in time for competition in the fall of 2016. The purchase of the property was made possible by a generous donation from the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust.

When complete, the new facility will replace the current soccer field located in the Hillside area of the campus, near West Lexington Avenue.

In addition to a 75×120-yard NCAA regulation grass soccer field with seating, the project will involve renovation of an existing building at the corner of Roy Arnold Boulevard and Russell Street to create a multipurpose facility with locker rooms, public restrooms and a concessions area.

The project will create an even larger and more cohesive area for Centre athletics both east and west of Roy Arnold Boulevard, expanding the South Fields area that was completed in the summer of 2012. At that time, new facilities were created for field hockey, women’s lacrosse and softball. A throws area for track and field has since been added.

While Centre student-athletes will be the most direct beneficiaries, residents of Danville and Boyle County and young people across the Commonwealth of Kentucky stand to gain as well through the many camps and clinics hosted by Centre—and it was done using environmentally sound practices.

Since 2007, the College has completed three major construction projects that meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. Common practices include installing variable irrigation systems; low-flow shower heads, lavatories and sinks, and dual-flush toilets; and controls for lighting, heating and cooling; the use of non-toxic paints, adhesives and sealants; carpeting that meets the requirements of Green Label Plus carpeting; the presence of recycling containers throughout the building; the use of efficient, front-loading washing machines; the incorporation of building materials that come from recycled sources or are harvested regionally; and a geothermal heating and cooling system.

by Cindy Long
August 21, 2015

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