New academic center: lean, green and serene

Since this past spring, a simple, leisurely stroll down to the Bay has been interrupted by the dull roar of construction equipment and the incessant beeping noise indicating that vehicles are moving in reverse. The end to this awful auditory annoyance, though, is fast approaching. A new, three-story academic center adjacent to Jane Bancroft Cook Library is set to open this January. That date became a bit closer last Wednesday, Sept. 1 as the Ajax Building Corporation (the general contractors on-site) and New College officials celebrated the “topping out,” or placement of the final roof support beam on top of the building, at noon with a barbeque lunch.

The center, which will remain un- named until a donor acquires naming rights, is the first purpose-built general classroom facility in the nearly 50 year history of New College. Currently, existing classroom space is scattered amongst relics of the Ringling estate, former dor- mitories and offices. The new building will also feature faculty offices, classrooms, a new café run by the Four Winds and a plaza for social gatherings.

According to New College Director of Facilities Planning and Construction Ken Perlowski, who gave the Catalyst a tour of the structure along with con- struction superintendent Rick Guerra, the new center stands a good chance of being listed as a Gold building by the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard. This means that the building must meet strict environmental standards for design, water usage and efficiency.

Faculty members are already jockeying for offices in the new center, though there has been no official word as to which professors will move into the facility.

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