The Roux Center for the Environment is on track for its scheduled opening next fall, according to Matt Orlando, senior vice president for finance and administration and treasurer of the College. With a $16.5 million budget—$10 million of which was a gift by David and Barbara Roux P’14—the 29,000 square-foot, three-storied building will have four labs dedicated to student coursework, two classrooms and a large flexible classroom space, as well as a variety of common areas.
“I would just say that it’s an aggressive schedule,” said Orlando. “And so we are pushing the contractor pretty hard to keep it on pace so we can open in August.”
The Roux Center will hold 20 faculty offices, 16 of which will house faculty from the Earth and Oceanographic Studies (EOS) Department and the Environmental Studies Program. The remaining four offices will hold “swing faculty” in the humanities, according to Orlando.
The Roux Center has the potential to be the first building on Bowdoin’s campus to earn a LEED platinum certification—the highest certification level for a green building. While no current building has a platinum certification, several buildings have do have lower-level certifications. 52 Harpswell Road holds the gold level. Osher Hall, West Hall, the Peter Buck Center for Health and Fitness and 216 Maine Street all have silver level, while the Sydney J. Watson Arena is LEED certified.
Other features of the Roux Center will include a solar rooftop, a vegetative roof and a large glass atrium. Unlike the majority of buildings on campus, the building will not feature a brick exterior, but rather Cambia wood, a superheated Poplar wood grown in sustainable forests in Virginia. According to Borkowski, the wood is more durable and insect repellant. Over time, it’s dark brown color will turn silver “like Cedar shakes do along the coast of Maine.”
With the EOS department and Environmental Studies Program moving into the Roux Center, a few other changes will take place. The History Department will move out of Hubbard Hall into Adams Hall, the current home of Environmental Studies, and EOS will move out of Druckenmiller Hall. According to Dean for Academic Affairs Elizabeth McCormack, a faculty committee will convene later this semester to discuss how to fill vacancies in Druckenmiller Hall.
Orlando noted that the vacancy in Druckenmiller could spark some classroom reconfigurations.
“All I can say at this point is that there is a golden opportunity here to repurpose spaces,” said Orlando. “We have some extra swing space so it gives us an opportunity to look at other facilities that are aging and maybe not conducive to the [active] teaching styles that are more common [in which] chairs can be reconfigured and moved around. We are doing some of that in Roux, but there are other places that we will be able to do it moving forwards.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Adams Hall is the home of the both the Environmental Studies program and the EOS department. While Adams houses Environmental Studies, Druckenmiller Hall houses the EOS department.