Groundwork Under Way for Res Hall, Geothermal Energy

CANTON – Construction has started on a 150-bed residence hall at St. Lawrence University that will add a new housing option for students in the traditional center of campus when it is completed in fall 2014.

Workers have begun the groundwork for the residence hall, which is being built on the existing road and parking lot between the Noble Center and the Quad. Crews have temporarily fenced off an area surrounding the site and about half of the Quad for safety and to allow room for construction vehicles, equipment and supplies.

The University also is installing geothermal wells under the ground in the lower portion of the Quad.

Crews have removed and stockpiled the topsoil that will cover the wells, which will provide a sustainable and environmentally friendly energy source to heat and cool the new building. After the wells are installed, the ground will be covered with soil and grass, and the Quad will be returned to its original size and use.

During construction, the other half of the Quad will remain open and available for campus activities.

In addition to maintaining and protecting the full Quad, the project when completed will add green space and landscaping on what is currently pavement on the north side of the new building. Additional trees will be planted to replace any that are lost to construction.

The University’s commitment to sustainability is a cornerstone of the project. The residence hall will be built to LEED standards, incorporating best practices for efficiency and green design and construction. The University will not apply for certification, using the savings from this expensive process to support funding additional sustainable initiatives such as the geothermal energy system.

Sustainability and 100-year building features in the new residence hall will include:

  • Minimal footprint, building up (3 and 4 stories) instead of out, on existing pavement

  • Standing seam metal roof

  • Single-hung, aluminum-clad, wood, low-E windows

  • Optimized use of natural light, particularly in meeting spaces

  • High-efficiency heating and cooling systems

  • Water-saving fixtures

  • Energy-efficient lighting

  • Geothermal energy system, hidden underground

  • Sustainable and low-maintenance landscaping

  • Preserved and added green space, including maintaining the full Quad.

Members of the St. Lawrence community are invited to join the University’s Board of Trustees for a “groundbreaking” ceremony at the site at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18, to celebrate the project’s start.