UConn Honors Goodwin College’s Scheinberg with Environmental Award
Goodwin College President Mark Scheinberg received an award for environmental leadership at UConn’s Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources on Monday, March 18. The award honored Scheinberg’s vision in transforming formerly polluted riverfront land into a thriving college campus, as well as his ongoing commitment to green development and environmental education.
The award follows another high-profile environmental recognition in 2012, when the college received a Merit Award from the Environmental Protection Agency.
President Scheinberg said the recognition was a testament to the power of partnerships to transform land and create sustainable development.
“We would not be here but for the support of the EPA, DEEP, regional development agencies, and the Town of East Hartford. For anyone who doubts that government officials can dream big, our campus stands as the counterpoint. To honor the faith of these individuals in our vision, we will continue on the path to sustainability,” Scheinberg said.
Goodwin is currently constructing three magnet schools designed with minimal environmental impact, including the use of LEED-comparable building standards, green roofs, and other innovations.
Another dimension of Goodwin’s environmental impact is the focus of its curriculum. Goodwin’s Connecticut River Academy Magnet High School teaches students from throughout the region about environmental stewardship through hands-on fieldwork. The college’s degree program in environmental studies prepares students for jobs in conservation, and the college often hosts environmental expos and conferences.
The Goodwin College River Campus: A Brownfields Success Story
In 2005, Goodwin College announced dramatic plans to build a riverfront campus along Riverside Drive in East Hartford, Connecticut. Since, with the help of the EPA and other agencies, Goodwin has successfully created a new campus community with educational, economic, and environmental benefits for the region and beyond.
After extensive testing, remediation, and the demolition of over 30 above-ground oil tanks and other defunct industrial installations, the project redeveloped formerly unusable, industrial zoned, tax delinquent, foreclosed, blighted and environmentally challenged land, while retaining the natural appeal and opening public access to very large tracts of riverfront.
In December 2008, the college opened the 109,000 square-foot flagship academic center equipped to employ over 500 and serve over 3,000 students. A year later, it rolled out its environmental studies degree program, in which students took an active part in the continuing environmental testing of adjacent land, as well as taking advantage of access to the river and undeveloped flood plains for study of river ecology.
In 2010, the Connecticut River Academy, an environmentally-themed magnet high school, also opened at the River Campus in a temporary “incubator” space. Goodwin broke ground on a permanent home for the school at the River Campus in January 2012.
The redevelopment of the site would not have been possible without the support of the EPA and other agencies, including the Connecticut Development Authority (CDA). Financing for the project (over $40 Million for the first building) included $600,000 in grants from the Environmental Protection Agency for brownfield remediation, $2.25 million in state bond funds through the Department of Economic and Community Development, and private financing secured by the college.
The River Campus has quickly grown into a cultural and educational hub for the region. More than 10,000 people commute to the campus each week, in turn providing customers to local restaurants, stores, and various other businesses. Moreover, the College has formed partnerships with many of our community organizations and businesses, including providing free meeting space for civic groups.
Environmentally-Friendly Features of the River Campus
• Car charging stations for hybrid vehicles
• Bicycle racks to encourage low emission travel
• Water-free urinals in every men’s room
• Occupy sensors in every room that shuts off lights automatically
• Light detectors that sense natural light and balances accordingly
• Automatic timers that shut off lights when building is unoccupied
• Film on windows that block harmful ultraviolet light
• System-controlled emission and temperature gauges
• LEED-comparable construction on all new buildings (not certified, but equivalent)
• “Green roof” for the pending CT River Academy (basically a rooftop greenhouse)
• All planned buildings will be constructed to the same standards