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SUNY Plattsburgh to break ground on new, green science building

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (June 15, 2009) - State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher will be on hand at the official ground-breaking ceremony for SUNY Plattsburgh's Hudson Hall Renovation Project, July 31.Built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver standards, Phase I of the $37 million project will result in a new and improved, earth-friendly Hudson Hall addition. Phase II will include renovations to existing Hudson Hall. Slated for completion in 2012, all of this construction will result in new 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 new Hudson Hall 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 enable individual students to conduct 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 He noted that some of the funds will help replace outdated bench equipment and other tools that students use in the classroom and labs.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. 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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