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Wofford College building Environmental Studies Center

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Wofford College has broken ground on a new Environmental Studies Center that will be Green Globe certified for its sustainable and environmentally conscious features, such as a partial green roof and solar roof panels.

Wofford College has broken ground on a 20,000-square-foot Environmental Studies Center. (Rendering/Provided)The 20,000-square-foot facility will feature advanced laboratory space, a seminar room, outdoor patio and garden spaces, and classroom and office space for Wofford’s environmental studies department as well as the other sciences. The building also will include a system for capturing rainwater for irrigation and will use cross-laminated timbers, which are made of sustainable, all-wood construction. Green Globe certification is awarded after a structured assessment of the sustainability performance of the facility, according to a news release.

“Wofford’s new environmental studies center integrates the college’s programs in the sciences, social sciences and humanities to prepare students to address complex social-ecological concepts in the context of human behavior, ethical decision-making and political realities,” Kaye Savage, professor and chairwoman of the Department of Environmental Studies, said in the release. “That it includes visible sustainable features that can be incorporated into our curriculum was very important to us in planning for this new facility.”

The Wofford College Department of Environmental Studies includes:

  • The Goodall Environmental Studies Center, in a restored textile mill building overlooking the Lawson’s Fork of the Pacolet River, provides students with on-the-ground, real-time interactions with the natural and cultural issues they study in the classroom.
  • The Tyson Family Lecture on the Preservation and Restoration of Southern Ecosystems, established in 2012 by the Tyson family. The annual lectureship, presented free and available to the public, is devoted to issues related to the preservation, restoration and sustainability of Southern ecosystems.
  • A $4.25 million Milliken Sustainability Initiative, announced in 2015, provides student experiences in the area of environmental studies.
  • The Milliken Sustainability Initiative, funded by the Romill Foundation, is fueling student social entrepreneurs and their business ideas as well as community-based coursework and research in the Northside community.
  • In the Northside, a new building will be linked to a common educational experience for students focused on community sustainability, working with community partners to develop programming that will benefit the community and expand student-learning opportunities.

“With the new center on campus, the department’s reach will stretch from the Goodall Environmental Studies Center and the Lawson’s Fork Creek at Glendale to the campus in downtown Spartanburg and in the nearby historic Northside community near campus,” Nayef Samhat, Wofford president, said in the release. “The new building will be a hub of sustainability efforts on campus and in the community.”

The firm McMillan Pazdan Smith will be responsible for the architecture, according to the Wofford marketing and communications department.


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July 26, 2019

Architectural responsibility for this project went to McMillan Pazdan Smith. I've updated the story to include the firm. Ross Norton, editor

July 25, 2019

Who is the architect?