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Groundbreaking ceremony for "green" science building, July 31

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (July 14, 2009) - State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher will be among the officials on hand at the official ground-breaking ceremony for SUNY Plattsburgh's Hudson Hall Renovation Project, July 31. The event is open to the public and will take place at 2:15 p.m. near the Hawkins Hall pond.Built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver standards, Phase I of the $37 million project will result in a new, earth-friendly Hudson Hall addition. Phase II will include renovations to existing Hudson Hall.

New laboratory addition on the left. Existing Hudson Hall on the right will also be completely renovated.
Consruction of $37 million laboratory underway.

The funding for the project is provided by the State University of New York's Five-Year Capital Budget and is the first major construction on campus since the early 1970s. The general contractor for the project is Northland Associates, based in Liverpool, N.Y., and the building was designed by Envision Architects, PC, based in Albany, N.Y.

Slated for completion in 2012, this new construction will result in expanded opportunities for SUNY Plattsburgh students, especially in the sciences.

"This new, state-of-the-art teaching and research addition, will allow us to continue the tradition that was started decades ago by science faculty whose names, like Hudson, now appear on buildings around campus," said Dr. Ed Miller, chair of the chemistry department.

The addition will include 27,000 square feet of new laboratories with super-efficient hood and ventilation systems. These represent the largest challenge of building a LEED-certifiable building because expensive heated or cooled air gets evacuated through the hood system along with the unwanted chemical vapors and gases involved in experiments.

The new system, which could reduce energy costs by up to one third, represents a significant change for the learning environment as well because it will allow faculty more flexibility in their teaching methods and will more effectively facilitate individual student experiments.

Dr. Tim Mihuc, director of the Lake Champlain Research Institute, said students will also benefit in ways they may not appreciate until after graduation.

"Students will be educated in a facility that will be comparable to what they will find in a career in the sciences," he said. He noted that some of the funds will also help replace outdated bench equipment and other tools that students use in the classroom and labs.

Following LEED design and building guidelines will have other ramifications for teaching as the building itself will be used as a teaching tool, with displays which educate occupants about green practices.

"I am truly excited about the new possibilities that will be opened to the faculty and students. I am grateful to the state, and ultimately the people of the state, for their generous support of this effort and our students," said Miller.

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