A Green and Growing Campus
Southern continues its development as a thoroughly modern campus, with a new LEED Gold-certified School of Business, an expanded library and a new science building. The university’s master plan also calls for a new fine arts center, an expansion of Moore Fieldhouse and a building to house Southern’s health and services programs.
The renovated former Student Center opened in summer 2012 as a new home for the School of Business. Encompassing about 23,000 square feet, the building houses faculty offices, classrooms, conference and meeting rooms and a Wall Street-style trading room. Upon completion of the renovation, the building received LEED Gold certification, only the second building in the state to receive this recognition of "green" construction.
Construction is nearing completion on a 98,332-square-foot science building that will house teaching and research laboratories for Southern’s growing programs in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines, which have seen enrollments increase by more than 17 percent in recent years. Embracing an innovative, sustainable design, the building will be home to nanotechnology, physics and optics, cancer research, astronomy and other sciences. It will open in 2015.
Following completion of a 135,000-square-foot addition that doubles the size of Buley Library, the original portion of the building has been completely renovated. The new-look library incorporates general classroom space, a learning commons, information technology operations offices, an adaptive technology area, faculty offices and storage for the university’s art collection, which will also be displayed throughout the building. The building opens in spring 2015.
Campus parking availability was vastly improved by the construction of a new, 1,257-space parking garage on the site of Lot 7, at the side of Moore Fieldhouse on Wintergreen Avenue. The garage nets about 800 parking spaces for students and employees.
Sustainability Efforts Earning National Recognition
Its school colors may be blue and white, but Southern has stamped itself as one of the up-and-coming green campuses in the nation.
Southern was named one of the 332 most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada in 2014, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company, known for its test prep programs and college rankings, ratings, and guidebooks, profiles Southern in the fifth annual edition of its free downloadable book, “The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges."
In 2012, the university placed fourth of 98 schools in the country in reducing its electricity use during the Campus Conservation Nationals, a competition among colleges and universities to reduce energy consumption. As one of the top 10 schools in the conservation contest, Southern received a credit for 200 megawatt hours of renewable energy from Sterling Planet, a company that works with organizations toward becoming carbon neutral. The 200 megawatt hours of free energy would be enough to power one of the university’s smaller residence halls for about a year.
Other recent sustainability efforts at Southern include:
- Becoming a charter signatory to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which calls for schools to bolster their conservation efforts in pursuit of eventual carbon neutrality
- Converting to LED lighting in campus garages and gymnasiums
- Implementing an extensive recycling program – 28 per cent of the institution’s overall waste stream – that includes single-stream materials, fluorescent lights, batteries, e-waste, construction materials, metal, mattresses, and more.
- Purchasing graduation caps and gowns made from recycled plastic bottles.
- Reducing pollutants by 50 percent in the campus Energy Center.
Southern has also launched a Sustainability Living Learning Community, in which students
can opt to live in a residence hall with sustainability as a focus.
Learn more about sustainability at Southern.