Campus News

New Space for Environmental Studies in Adams Hall

Story posted December 07, 2001

The Environmental Studies Program moved into its new space last week on the first floor of Adams Hall. The new ES space is the result of a year-long collaborative process that involved students, faculty, staff, and the contractors. Students provided significant input for the design and feel of the new space. Throughout the design process the Environmental Studies Program was committed to the idea of sustainable architecture and the use of environmentally friendly products.

Last winter, the ES Student Advisory Committee (SAC) suggested that the College should renovate space in Adams to provide facilities where students could study, hold meetings, and socialize. This is particularly important for a program like ES, with students from many different disciplines. The students then met in Adams with ES faculty, Dean Craig McEwen, and the College's facilities staff and developed ideas to guide the planning. Students in Professor Chris Glass's Architectural Design course submitted designs for the planned large open meeting/study space in Adams. The final plans for the space were based upon their designs, in particular the plans prepared by Mia Andler '02.

Students also participated in on-site discussions with Lance Fletcher, a local architect who has taught at Bowdoin and is an expert on "green" design. Over the summer, Jeremy Arling '01 researched sources of "green" products and developed a list of "green" furnishings for the space and as well as recommendations for flooring, paint and lighting. He developed a catalogue of green furnishings and recommendations for flooring, paint and lighting. Jeremy also gathered extensive information about suppliers for cost-effective, environmentally-sensitive materials and furnishings for the College.

This fall, senior Hesper Schleiderer-Hardy was hired by the ES Department to document and photograph the renovation and to prepare a Web page and display about the use of sustainable products in the new space. The Environmental Studies Student Advisory Committee provided input on the design and the room, consequently, was altered to reflect students' feedback.

Weekly meetings were held between the Environmental Studies, Facilities Management and Warren Construction, the contractor for the project, to ensure that the space would reflect the design and research ideas of the students who had been involved.

Some of the more innovative aspects of the space are the use of "green certified" birch flooring, and the use of carpet squares with recycled content made by Interface, a sustainable company. The planter located in the center of the room incorporates "green certified" birch wood and a top made from slate that originally had been blackboards in the space.

The renovation process of Adams Hall has been a project receiving collective input from many sources. A full Web page on the design and construction process, as well as a description the "green" products that were incorporated, will be completed in January. President Barry Mills will open the space on January 29 honoring the students, faculty, staff, construction crew, and others who contributed to the renovation. In the interim, please stop by and visit ES's new home!

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