Kelley Hall will be LEED Gold with Solar
Sept. 16, 2008 -- "This is a realization of hopes, dreams, and vision coming into reality," President Jay Helman said on the new Kelley Hall.
Kelley Hall has opened its doors to students this fall after receiving $5.5 million renovation. The State of Colorado provided $4.3 million with the remaining $1.2 million coming from the Western State College Foundation and the college reserves.
The building is named after the first president of Western; James Kelley. It was originally constructed in 1957.
Kelley Hall's renovation provides a home to the Environmental Studies department, which has previously had its faculty in separate buildings, and will continue to house the Behavioral and Social Sciences (BASS) department.
The building will be LEED Gold Certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a system developed by the US Green Building Council that provides standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Kelley will be the second LEED certified building in the entire Gunnison Valley, following the Borick Business Building, which received the Silver Certification. It will be the first to receive the gold designation.
The general contractor for the project was FCI Construction Inc. out of Grand Junction. The architect was Chamberlin Architects, also out of Grand Junction. Long Energy Consultants did the LEED consulting.
Brad Baca, vice president for finance and administration, points out that the LEED certification process for Kelley is different than it was for Borick. "It's more about how we function within the building once we're there," he said.
Elements that will make the building more energy efficient and environmentally friendly include solar panels, insulated windows, low water native plant landscaping, motion lighting, recycled denim insulation in the ceiling, compact florescent lighting and a highly efficient boiler system. Interfaced carpeting (carpeting that is installed in individual squares), cork flooring, and the use of reclaimed wood, are among other features.
Director of Environmental Studies, John Hausdoerffer, calls Kelley Hall, "an environmental building that is financially responsible."
Hausdoerffer and Bill Niemi, chair of the BASS department, were part of an executive committee that also included John Sowell, vice president of academic affairs and Brad Baca.
"We wanted the building to be environmentally sustainable," said Niemi. "We also wanted it to be state of the art educationally," he added.
The makeup of the building is significantly different than the original building. On the first floor, a Center for Environmental Studies provides a place where students and faculty can discuss and generate ideas. There is a recycling center in the building and a mural graces the entrance. There is a vibrant seminar room in the Center, which features a skylight, and a lounge for students to discuss ideas. A kiosk, powered by solar, will greet visitors, explaining the features of the building, and will provide monitoring of energy use.
"Students learn from the buildings they study in. In Kelley Hall our building will be more consistent with the material that we are teaching," John Hausdoerffer said.
Up on the second floor, the home for the BASS department is also state of the art for the 21st century. A lounge that has windows that overlook the south aspect of campus is a place where faculty and staff can interact. There is also a seminar room. The Animal Care Facility, a new feature to Western, provides graduate school level equipment for research.
The feel of the classrooms is significantly different than the Kelley Hall of old. Classrooms have been made up to date through the use of the above mentioned energy saving features and through new technology. Ceiling mounted projectors have been installed in each of the classrooms. Carbon dioxide monitors ensure that maximum ventilation is kept.
If a professor would like to take their students outside to learn, an outdoor classroom will be located on the west side of the building. A native plants garden will be located on the east side of Kelley Hall.
A significant amount of art will also grace the hallways and in the stairwells, in fact the law required that 1% of the budget of the renovation was spent on it. Many of the pieces of art which range from paintings to sculptures are by local artists.
President Helman is very proud of the building, and spent his first five years at Western teaching in the building himself. "Kelley Hall has seen a wonderful transformation and the students who get to walk into that building now will be in a great learning environment," he said.
He added that he is seeing a transformation in the way people view environmentally friendly buildings. "We are witnessing that it is not so radical to think green."
Story by: Luke Mehall, assistant director of public relations