In just under a year, Unity College will have completed construction on two new residence halls housing over 140 students. During a time when many colleges and universities have had to cut programs or reduce faculty, Unity’s enrollment continues to break records.

The popularity of campus living is only one of the indicators that Unity College continues to prosper. “Record enrollment provides additional opportunities for study, research, and experiential learning both on-campus and beyond, “noted President Stephen Mulkey. “This is further confirmation that Unity College is developing a nationally renowned brand.  The need to construct a second residence hall shortly after inaugurating another one in 2014 directly relates to our strategic mission. Unity’s emphasis on hands-on learning and transdisciplinary education within a sustainability science framework gives the College a potent and unique ability to attract highly qualified, intelligent, and dedicated students.”

Demonstrating Unity’s ongoing efforts toward energy efficiency, the second hall will feature a five person suite with individual bathrooms connected by a common living space. Comparable to the first residence hall, the second will be constructed to meet or exceed LEED Silver standards. The general footprint and layout of the building will be very similar, with approximately 18,000 square feet and including low flow water devices and higher-than-average insulation in the walls and roof. Additional internal features include low-emitting Volatile Organic Compounds in paint that reduce contaminants affecting indoor air quality, and double-paned, low-energy windows that help rooms maintain constant temperatures.

It is believed that Unity’s efforts towards a living environment based on sustainability and energy efficiency have led more students to want to live and learn on-campus. “Unity College students soon discover that Unity has a vibrant, active, and environmentally-conscious community, and living on-campus allows them to immerse themselves in that atmosphere,” explained Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, Executive Vice President and Liaison to the Board.  “This new residence hall will be the type of facility that maintains Unity’s dedication to sustainability science and academic values and goals that we hope to instill in all our students. The building will provide additional sustainable green features such solar arrays that support student study and experiential learning.”

Improvements to the second residence hall include heating and cooling by air source heat pumps, making the building more energy efficient. “The public bathrooms, laundry room, and common room kitchen are being redesigned to create a larger and more functional kitchen,” stated Steve Nason, Director of Residence Life and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs of Unity College. The exterior of the building will feature earth tones, at the request of students.  “This new residence hall includes amenities and features our students told us they want.”

Thursday, January 15, 2015