The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded Gold LEED certification through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program to Centre College for its addition to Young Hall, the College’s state-of-the-art science facility.
Young Hall is home to the programs in psychology, behavioral neuroscience, biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and organic and inorganic chemistry. The $20 million project features a 40,000-square-foot addition that created six new large classrooms, eight new teaching labs and eight new faculty research labs, as well as several new common areas to support student-faculty collaborative research.
Not only is this is the third building on the historic campus in Danville to receive LEED certification, but Young Hall is also the second building at the Gold LEED level. Pearl Hall, a residence hall that opened in 2008 and houses approximately 150 students, was the first building project in Kentucky to receive a Gold LEED rating. A year later, the 50,000-square-foot Campus Center received Silver LEED certification. No other college or university in Kentucky has three LEED-certified buildings.
“This most recent LEED rating is gratifying because it exemplifies the commitment Centre College has made to achieve ‘best practice’ status in terms of green construction,” said John A. Roush, who has served as president of Centre since 1998. “We are grateful that Centre donors have made possible so many additions to our campus, and proud that we have been able to do so in a way that’s sustainable and environmentally responsible.”
The first college building devoted entirely to science was the 25,000-square-foot Young Memorial Hall, completed in 1909. The building was named for father-son Centre presidents John C. and William C. Young, who served 35 years between them during the 19th century. That building was razed in 1970 when the 56,000-square-foot Young Hall was built directly in front of Young Memorial. The 40,000-square-foot Gold LEED certified addition to Young Hall was completed in fall of 2010 and officially dedicated during the College’s homecoming weekend on Oct. 11, 2011.
J. Preston Miles, the John C. Walkup Professor of Chemistry, chairs Centre’s President’s Climate Commitment Committee, an advisory committee that serves to inform the campus about sustainability questions. The committee was formed in 2007 when Centre became a signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
“One of Centre’s pledges as part of the ACUPCC,” Miles said, “is that all new buildings and major renovations will be designed and built to conserve energy and enhance the human environment.” He added, “The fact that the Young Hall design provides the operating efficiency necessary for USGBC Gold certification is a great achievement. In fact, the Young Hall addition more than meets that obligation.”
Stephanie Dew, professor of biology and biochemistry & molecular biology, appreciates the addition from the perspective of a faculty member and former Centre student. She now chairs the division of science and mathematics. “I think energy efficiency and environmental awareness are important in general,” Dew said, “but particularly so when planning a science facility.”
John Wilson, the H.W. Stodghill Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Mathematics, served as chair of the science and mathematics division during construction. He recalls a combination of anxiety and anticipation throughout the 18-month process, but one that students, faculty and staff dealt with remarkably well.
“The end result is a wonderful space where faculty members and students can share the experience of scientific inquiry,” Wilson said.
“The fact that the building met the Gold LEED certification standard,” he added, “serves as an example to our students of the commitment the College places on sustainability.”