This past Thursday, October 15th, APUS had a ground breaking ceremony at the site of its newest addition to the Charles Town, West Virginia campus. Construction will soon begin on a four-story LEED certified building that will house our Academics and Admissions departments. The building will sit on a site of abandoned and underutilized former industrial space including a junkyard. The building will be approximately 45,000 square feet of office space for our expanding academic administrative staff and our admissions department and will represent a significant economic investment in the downtown Charles Town area.
One of the tangible actions to which APUS committed when I signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in September 2007 was a policy of building all new campus construction projects to LEED Silver standards. The newest addition to the APUS Charles Town campus will meet or exceed those standards. Environmentally friendly elements of the building will include solar panels on the roof which should provide some 30 percent of the building’s energy needs, bike racks to encourage employees to cut down on commuting by car, parking spaces for energy-efficient vehicles, highly efficient insulation and windows, a modern variable refrigerant HVAC system, and lighting controls to manage energy use, to name only a few.
As APUS has expanded its campus to house a growing staff tasked with accommodating the needs of our increasing student body, we have remained mindful of our responsibility to our Charles Town neighbors as well as our environment. The new building will blend old and new, traditional and modern in an attempt to keep it similar in character to the historic nature of Charles Town’s other buildings, most of which were constructed in the 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Joining me at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony in addition to APUS staff were various members of the local Charles Town community as well as several state representatives. David Lloyd, Director of the EPA’s Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization, was also in attendance and expressed his approval of the planned construction and use of the brownfields site for this purpose.
Please see below for a photo gallery of images from the ground breaking event.