Net Zero design unveiled

Kelsey Bundra

Recent construction coincides with Millersville University President Dr. John Anderson’s implementation of campus-wide sustainability efforts. Lombardo Welcome Center will be constructed as a “net energy zero” building. The term “net zero energy” means the building will create as much energy as it will consume. This project is being funded by Samuel and Dena Lombardo, a Lancaster County entrepreneur and his wife. The donation is for $1 million.

“I’m pretty excited about this,” Anderson said. The net zero energy building construction will start in the spring of 2016. It will contain admissions and administrative offices, and will be placed near the new residence halls. There will also be a “big” expansion added onto Gordinier, Anderson added.

This construction project adds to the sustainability efforts already in place. Dr. Nadine Garner, professor and Director of Sustainability Education & Research Project, created an on-campus organic garden. Dr. Daniel Keefer’s project added to a more sustainable campus. Bike repair stations have been placed in between the Student Memorial Center and Gordinier. Keefer is the chair of Wellness and Sport Sciences who encourages a bike-friendly campus.

Currently, dining halls are also employing some composting techniques. The energy currently being used on campus was switched from electric to natural gas. Electricity Millersville was using previously was created by coal. Coal emits high amounts of carbon; Anderson wishes to implement a “climate action plan to reduce carbon.”

Recently, the underground electric infrastructure was redone. “We replaced 43 miles of electric cable,” Anderson
said. Meters were also installed to monitor electricity use by building. “We can identify high users and reduce energy consumption,” Anderson said.

Even smaller steps are being taken to increase campus sustainability. Anderson wishes to continue practices such as recycling and replace light bulbs with more energy efficient ones.

It is also anticipated that new construction will be more efficient. Millersville is currently on phase two of construction. The East Village, Millersville’s newest addition of residence halls, opened this semester. There are approximately 604 beds in East Village, congruent with the capacity in South Village. The West Village is under construction and planned to open in fall 2016.

Currently the quad is fenced off due to construction. “We will have a beautiful green quad,” Anderson said. Further construction plans are being mulled over and not finalized. Anderson spoke about Gaige Hall being torn down because “the inside needs a lot of work.”

Later, there may be some updates to the fitness center. Bard and Gilbert Hall will be kept to temporarily house Jefferson Hall staff during a future rehab of the building. “The [construction] schedule depends on when the school is vacant,” Anderson said.