Last week the Brunswick Planning Board unanimously approved an initial sketch plan for the College’s new Roux Center for the Environment. The sketch includes a footprint of the site and the floor plans for the buildings Vice President and Interim Head of Finance and Administration Matthew Orlando hopes that the final design done by early April so the College can begin the bidding process. 

“[The architect] Tim Mansfield has been in hundreds of planning boards all over the place, and our [Director of Capital Projects] Don Borkowski does a great job putting together the full package, so [the board] was very impressed with the organization and the comprehensiveness of it,” Orlando said. 

Earlier this year, the Programming Committee—led by Interim Dean for Academic Affairs Jen Scanlon—met with the architects on a monthly basis to go over updated designs and make suggestions on the initial sketch plan. According to Orlando, President Clayton Rose set the goal to make the building not limited to the scientific study of the environment, but rather a space for interdisciplinary exploration. 

“The idea is to have the classroom space in there flexible enough so it can accommodate all sorts of disciplines and not just be focused on scientific research,” Orlando said. 

Orlando also hopes that the building will be able to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of sustainability certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. 

“That is a challenge to achieve any time you’re talking about laboratories and scientific research being conducted in the building, so we’re still hopeful that we can hit the platinum goal, but it will be a challenge,” he said. 

The College will go back to the planning board in February to share any variations from the sketch plan, which will also be subject to the board’s review. 

“There will inevitably be a little bit of shifting here and there. We’re still in the design phase of the building, so we have not approved a final design yet so things could certainly be shifted,” Orlando said.