Environmental, Construction Efforts Discussed at
UNC Asheville Board of Trustees Meeting
UNC Asheville has won national recognition for its environmental
efforts related to land and grounds management, the UNCA Board of Trustees
learned Wednesday at its regular quarterly meeting. In the National
Wildlife Federation's report, "State of the Campus Environment: A
National Report Card on Environmental Performance and Sustainability in
Higher Education" published in January, UNCA was the only college or
university in North Carolina and one of only 15 in the U.S. to be cited as
a leader in Landscaping and Grounds Programs. In the past eight years,
UNCA has implemented programs for habitat restoration, native landscaping,
removal of invasive exotic species, integrated pest management, and
provision of food and shelter to attract wildlife, according to Melissa
Acker, UNCA landscape director.
The award reflects one of several environmental initiatives under way
at UNCA. In preparation for the design and construction of the new,
bond-funded science building, UNCA held a two-day environmental charette
in October to identify strategies for incorporating sustainability into
the building's design, according to Stephen Baxley, UNCA's facilities
management and design director. Several hundred people, including faculty,
staff, students, designers, contractors and concerned Asheville/Buncombe
community leaders, donated their time to collaborate on establishing
environmental goals and committed to Leadership in Environmental Design (LEED)
UNCA has also become a member of the Labs in the 21st Century, a pilot
program of the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of
Energy. The program challenges many of the engineering paradigms in
laboratory design and promises to provide labs that are both more
environmentally friendly and energy efficient.
The Science Building Committee and O'Brien/Atkins, the project
architects, have completed the programming portion of the design process
and are moving on to schematic design. The Board of Trustees today
approved the siting of the $22.2 million building, which will be located
just below Tennent Garden, adjacent to Rhodes-Robinson Hall and the Ramsey
Library. The site, which was one among five suggested by the architects
and UNCA's Master Plan, was selected through a campuswide process and was
endorsed by the Student Government Association, Baxley told the board.
In addition, work continues on the extension of the pedestrian greenway
along W.T. Weaver Boulevard to Broadway. A joint project of the City of
Asheville, the N.C. Department of Transportation and UNCA, the first
portion of the greenway was completed over a year ago. In conjunction with
the Greenway Project, UNCA and the Botanical Gardens are engaged in
stormwater runoff mitigation projects funded by a grant from the N.C.
Clean Water Management Trust Fund. UNCA is using its portion of the grant
for three innovative projects that will create a storm water wetland and
bioretention zones to catch and filter storm water as it flows from
adjacent roads and parking areas. The resulting clean water will flow into
area creeks and the South French Broad River.
In other business, the board voted to recommend increases in several
student fees, following a recommendation from the Campus Fees Committee.
The committee is composed of administrators, faculty and students. The
recommended fee increases total $30.75 per semester for full-time
students, a 4.73 percent increase. Many of the fee increases cover
state-mandated salary increases for staff.
Recommended fees are as follows: Athletics, $223.50, up $13.50; Health
Services, $65.75, up $2.75; Campus Commission (student organizations),
$50.50, up $4; Cultural and Special Events, $20, up $2; Highsmith Student
Center (operations and programming), $60.25, up $6; and Educational &
Technology (computer and science labs), $55, up $2.50. Fees remaining at
2001-02 levels are Student Parking, $35; Student Recreation, $60.50; and
Debt Service, $110.
- Merianne Epstein, Public Information Director, 828/251-6676