Monday, May 7, 2012

New Germanna building teaches, too. Ribbon cutting and tours set for 1 p.m., Friday, May 11 are open to the public, free of charge

By RUSTY DENNEN

The Free Lance-Star

Germanna Community College’s newest building is packed with “green” features, but it is unlike other environment-friendly structures in the area in one big way.

The building itself will help teach budding engineers and architects, other students, faculty and visitors about environmental technology, energy efficiency and sustainability.

The Science and Engineering Building and Information Commons at Germanna’s Fredericksburg Area Campus was finished last month; it is being furnished and equipped for the start of summer classes. A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for 1 p.m., May 11. All new, state-funded buildings must be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, said David A. Sam, the college president. During the planning phase, “We went to the faculty, staff and representatives of student government and asked them what they wanted,” he said in a recent interview. “One of the broad principles was to make it a better place for students to learn.” College officials talked with the architect, Clark Nexsen, and the builder, Donley’s Construction, about incorporating “teachable areas” into the structure, which sits behind the earthquake-damaged V. Earl Dickinson Building on GCC’s Fredericksburg campus off U.S. 17 in Spotsylvania County. MORE

Rhonda Simmons of The Culpeper Star-Exponent writes that the new building will help train local students to be engineers with the skills to build green homes and office buildings here in our area, where 75 percent of Germanna students remain after receiving degrees and certificates. MORE

Students are being prepared to give ongoing free tours of the building intended to raise awareness about new technology.

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