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Technical Studies Building

Technical Studies building

Inside Technical Studies Building

Classroom in the Technical Studies building

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Chillicothe campus next in line for large LEED-certified project


This is the final article in a four-part series on Ohio University's initial LEED building projects.

Ohio University’s LEED initiatives are not limited to the Athens campus. The third OHIO building seeking LEED certification is the Technical Studies building on the Chillicothe campus, the first building on any of Ohio University’s regional campuses to pursue this green building certification.
 
The 6,000-square-foot addition will roughly double the size of the existing building and will provide space for OU-Chillicothe's popular Law Enforcement Technology (LET) program and an entrepreneurship program that will be launched in conjunction with the Athens campus.

According to Ohio University-Chillicothe Dean Richard Bebee, the facility is especially important in Ross County, which has been hampered by high unemployment and limited access to opportunities that are typically associated with larger communities. Bebee said LEED certification is being pursued to ensure that best practices in terms of sustainable design and construction are being upheld.

“As an educational institution, we feel strongly that we should provide leadership in the area of conservation and sustainability,” said Bebee. "Having LEED certification ensures that we are being energy efficient and are acting as good stewards of the environment and our resources."

The project will likely garner LEED credits for making use of a previously developed site, reusing 95 percent of the existing building, incorporating materials with 20 percent recycled content, integrating native and adaptive vegetation into the landscaping, sourcing materials locally and making sure that 75 percent of the construction waste will be recycled or salvaged. The project may also include a retention pond for storm water, which will feed a fire hose for training purposes.

According to project managers Stephanie Ruth and Lynnette Clouse in the Office of Design and Construction, the project has the potential to achieve gold-level certification through LEED, if all goes according to plan.

A driving force behind the entrepreneurship center was a request by a Chillicothe campus student a few years back to have support for a computer service and repair business he was beginning, according to Bebee. A new space was also needed for the growing LET program, after storms destroyed its labs and supporting offices in the fall of 2008.

"It made sense to combine these two initiatives, which support our dual mission of serving our students and serving our region, into one project,” said Bebee.

At only 5,800 square feet, the Technical Studies building is currently home to the Environmental Engineering Technology program, Hazardous Materials Technology program, the Environmental Training and Research Center and the Southern Ohio Fire Training Academy. The building also houses law enforcement training and Environmental Services, as well as classroom space.

Total cost for the renovation will be $2 million and will be funded by Ohio University Regional Higher Education Reserves. Ruth and Clouse are working with architects Levin Porter Associates on the construction, which is set to begin in mid-July. The projected completion date is spring 2011.

“The Chillicothe Campus strives to be a trend-setter, particularly in an effort such as this, which impacts our environment and our community in a positive and long-lasting way,” said Bebee.

This concludes the four-part series on LEED certification. For more information on OHIO’s focus on LEED certification, click here. For information on the other LEED projects, 15 Park Place and the Schoonover Center for Communication, click on the respective links.