Stark campus Sciences Building will incorporate green technology

The Kent State Stark Science Building is nearly finished as of June 18, 2015. It covers 41,140 square-feet and is slated to open fall 2015.

The Kent State Stark Science Building is nearly finished as of June 18, 2015. It covers 41,140 square-feet and is slated to open fall 2015.

Austin Bennett

Kent State Stark’s Sciences Building will open this August and provide biology and nursing students with new opportunities for hands-on learning and research.

The 41,140 square-foot building will support and house teaching and research laboratories for biology, physics, geology and nursing. The construction includes a 5,250-square-foot renovation of Main Hall’s East Wing to accommodate the chemistry program.

This $17 million project is expected to achieve LEED® Gold certification.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED®, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices.

“This building is unlike anything else on campus,” said Brian Gardner, senior facilities manager.

The science and nursing building, the seventh major building on the campus, will have a wind turbine, solar water heating system, green roof and a rain garden, Gardner said.

The rain garden system takes the greywater, or rainwater after it hits the building, off the building and filters it down through the garden to naturally cleanse the water. Every drop of water that hits the building goes through the rain garden.

The complex has two forms of sustainability: the wind turbine and solar water heater. Both generate data onto a website that students can access.

The Dominion Foundation awarded Kent State Stark a grant of $28,000 for the vertical wind turbine, which will partially provide power for the building.

The solar water heating system uses glycol and solar energy to heat the water used in the building. The water in this system recently reached temperatures as high as 180 degrees.

Along with the green technology, the Science Building will feature a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The National Science Foundation awarded assistant biology professor Matthew Lehnert a grant of  $161,039 for the SEM.

The old microscopes in the building have the magnification abilities up to 1,000 times, the SEM is capable of magnifying up to 300,000 times.

“This allows us to see something from the micro-scale down to the nano-scale. We can now see things like viruses and bacteria,” Lehnert said.

The SEM also allows remote access during lectures. The professors can display and control the SEM in the classroom.

“The new classrooms give us a lot more space to work with,” said Kristen Reiter, senior anthropology major. “With everyone getting their own area, there won’t be as much sharing.”

The opening celebration is scheduled for Aug. 27.

Contact Austin Bennett at [email protected].