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Green is the theme for Loyola’s campus renovations

July 11, 2008

Recent renovations to Loyola University New Orleans’ campus have provided several opportunities for the university to reduce its carbon footprint.

This summer, Loyola University New Orleans began what will amount to a two-year, and approximately $6.5-million campus renovation and maintenance project. This includes renovations to the Danna Student Center and to the Communications/Music Complex, classroom technology updates in Miller and Bobet Halls, and physical maintenance projects for a number of buildings on both the main and Broadway campuses.

In preparing for the project, Loyola’s Facilities and Dining Services chose a number of eco-friendly construction options and products that would help reduce the university’s environmental impact.

Renovations in the Danna Student Center incorporate Energy Star electrical equipment for maximum efficiency, and a high efficiency HVAC system that uses less water is being installed. Additionally, furnishings in the Danna Student Center include Steelcase products that are labeled “green” and are certified Cradle to Cradle as environmentally friendly, meaning only materials that tested safe to human and environmental health were selected. New energy efficient lighting has been installed and the ceiling tiles, wall material and new carpeting used in the redesign are all made of recycled materials.

Sedexo, Loyola’s food service provider which contributed $1 million to the renovation project, has taken every opportunity to choose products that are the least environmentally intrusive on the market. They have begun using renewable containers and have eliminated plastic and foam disposable plates and service ware campus-wide. The new products are made from biodegradable corn and potato starch. In addition, customers at the newly redesigned convenience store in the Danna Student Center will be able to use “mesh” to-go bags and present a re-usable mug for beverages.

Ben Hartley, general manager of Loyola Dining Services said, “As a dining service, we have a responsibility to be a good steward of the environment. Whenever possible, we use products that are environmentally friendly. Anytime we replace equipment, we look for energy conservation, and when we purchase goods, we encourage the use of local providers and products to reduce transportation costs and to support our local markets.”

The campus has also re-instituted a recycling program. The entire university now has the capability to recycle white paper and it also has sites where newspaper and aluminum can be taken for recycling.

These eco-friendly steps come at a time when there is much overall change taking place at the university. This fall, a number of new administrators will take office and the university’s centennial graduating class will step on campus.

Considering that and the fact that student enrollment is at its highest level since Hurricane Katrina, the campus is both marking a milestone and poised for future growth. Chris Cameron, director of co-curricular programs, said the eco-friendly renovations are another way for the university to live up to its social mission.

“We have such a strong Jesuit heritage of being men and women with and for others, that creating as many green opportunities through the renovation is a way of demonstrating Loyola's commitment to social justice,” said Cameron. “It's a visible demonstration of our commitment to the care and concern of the individual, our natural resources and our planet.”

For more information, contact Meredith Hartley in the Office of Public Affairs at mhartley@loyno.edu or call (504)-861-5883.

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Loyola at a Glance is written and distributed for the faculty, staff, students and friends of Loyola University New Orleans. It is published by the Office of Public Affairs, Greenville Hall, Box 909, 7214 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5888.

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