DELAWARE, Ohio – The Ohio Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society has awarded Ohio Wesleyan University a 2013 Preservation Merit Award for excellence in the restoration of Stuyvesant Hall. The award, recognizing the renovation of the 74,000-square-foot residence hall, was presented during a public ceremony Sept. 28.
“The 15-month, $14-million renovation of Stuyvesant Hall would not have been possible with the support of generous donors or without the tireless work and dedication of our esteemed partners: Schooley Caldwell Associates; Lincoln Construction; and Susan McDonough, our alumna, friend, and architectural consultant,” said President Rock Jones, Ph.D., who attended the award ceremony on behalf of the university.
The Stuyvesant Hall restoration, completed in fall 2012, also was the first project in Delaware County ever to be awarded an Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit.
The project included renovating the Georgian Revival-style building, which opened in 1931, to preserve its historical significance as well as create a comfortable, environmentally friendly, amenity-filled living space for Ohio Wesleyan students. “Today’s recognition is one more indicator that we have succeeded in this daunting task,” Jones told those in attendance at the ceremony.
As part of the process, Ohio Wesleyan’s renovation plans were certified by the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service, ensuring that they met the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The university registered the completed project with the U.S. Green Building Council and has since earned its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver Certification.
The completed building, home to 243 Ohio Wesleyan students, now features energy-efficient heating, cooling, and lighting systems; ceramic and terrazzo tile flooring made with recycled glass; and new energy-efficient windows. Ohio Wesleyan is committed to sustainable building practices in all future construction, renovation, and restoration projects.
Stuyvesant Hall marks the second building on campus to achieve LEED certification. The first was OWU’s Meek Aquatics and Recreation Center, which opened in 2010. The Meek Center uses a system of more than 90 geothermal wells to help heat and cool the building and a heat-recovery system to warm water for its 10-lane, 366,310-gallon swimming pool. Ohio Wesleyan’s first “green” building also features a reflective clay-tile roof as well as recycled, regional, and low-VOC (volatile organic chemical) building materials.
The same environmental sensitivity is being incorporated into plans to renovate and reopen Merrick Hall. In June, Ohio Wesleyan received an $8 million alumni contribution to renovate the building, which has been closed for more than 25 years. Construction on Merrick Hall is expected to begin in February and be completed in 2015.
Jones said Ohio Wesleyan’s success in enhancing campus sustainability is the result of a campus-wide collaboration, involving the efforts of students, faculty, staff, and administration. A two-year State of Ohio Energy and Conservation Block Grant helped to fertilize the greening of the 200-acre campus by funding a temporary sustainability coordinator.
In addition to adding two LEED-certified buildings in a two-year period, Ohio Wesleyan also has demonstrated its commitment to the environment by:
- Creating a Task Force on Campus Sustainability to develop a plan for making the OWU campus more environmentally sustainable.
- Earning a ranking as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada in The Princeton Review’s 2013 “Guide to 322 Green Colleges.” According to the guide, “OWU is taking its environmental mission seriously,” noting that the Meek Center features a “whopping 90 geothermal wells, reaching down to a depth of 240 feet, [which] help to moderate the facility’s temperature.”
- Incorporating, with faculty leadership, sustainability issues into the Sagan National Colloquium, which each year examines an issue of international importance through guest lectures, panel discussions, and other events. The current theme is the “Interdisciplinary Impacts of Climate Change,” and recent themes have included “Bite! Examining the Mutually Transformative Relationship Between People and Food” (2012-2013) and “Cultivating a Green Campus: Promoting Sustainability and Environmental Understanding on the OWU Campus and in the Delaware Community” (2008-2009). The theme for the 2014-2015 Colloquium will be “Water.”
- Installing stand-alone, high-efficiency natural gas boilers in Beeghly Library and Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, eliminating heat loss tied to old, leaking underground steam transmission lines that loop between campus buildings and the university’s central steam plant.
- Installing submeters in key buildings, including Schimmel/Conrades Science Center and Smith Hall, to allow the university to track their energy usage and, over time, design strategies to improve their energy profiles.
- Upgrading lighting systems in Welch Hall and Beeghly Library to include motion sensors, as well as upgrading lighting in all residence halls from T12 to more energy-efficient T8 fluorescent lighting.
- Collaborating with students to add hydration stations (filtered-water systems to fill reusable water bottles) in multiple locations including Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, Edwards Gymnasium, Schimmel/Conrades Science Center, and Beeghly Library.
- Implementing a “Print Green” initiative that during the past three years has resulted in reducing the number of printers on campus, many of which were inefficient from a cost and energy standpoint, while still providing additional functionality for users. To date, Information Services has installed approximately 50 environmentally friendly multifunction devices capable of scanning and emailing documents electronically, making double-sided (duplex) prints, and being shared effectively by many users in a single lab or office environment.
- Introducing organic produce into food-service operations at Hamilton-Williams Campus Center and using vegetables from a student-run community garden in campus meal preparation. The model is sustainable, with Chartwells (Ohio Wesleyan’s food-service provider) collecting food scraps for composting, the composter selling compost to students at a deep discount, the students growing vegetables, and Chartwells buying the vegetables from students at market price, which gives students funds for seeds, etc.
- Switching all plate ware, utensils, and cups to compostable products, while also introducing silverware in key areas to reduce the waste generated by biodegradable utensils.
“We are excited to be recognized by the Ohio Historical Society for our efforts to preserve the past as we work simultaneously to protect the future,” Jones said. “Thanks to our students, faculty, and staff and their deep and sincere commitment to environmental issues, Ohio Wesleyan is making a difference in protecting our planet. We hope the restoration of Merrick Hall and other campus renovation projects result in additional LEED certification and enhanced campus sustainability.”
Given annually since 1983, the Ohio Historical Society’s Preservation Merit Award recognizes achievements in the historic preservation of Ohio’s prehistory, history, architecture, or culture. Candidates for the award are selected based on nominations from people throughout the State of Ohio. Learn more at www.ohiohistory.org.
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities. Ohio Wesleyan offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. OWU combines an internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that connect classroom theory with real-world practice. Located in Delaware, Ohio, OWU’s 1,850 students represent 41 states and 45 countries. The university is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.