The Center for the Environment at Catawba College Featured on Recent WSOC-TV Going Green Segment
August 11, 2009
Eco-Friendly Classroom Educates College Students
Students at a local college might have a hard time finding their classes this fall because one classroom is designed to blend in with its surroundings.
Nestled in the woods next to Catawba College in Salisbury is a building that almost seems at one with nature.
"We wanted to build something that set an example," said Dr. John Wear, director for Center for the Environment.
Wear gave Eyewitness News a tour of the 190-acre nature preserve where it's located, which serves as a field classroom for the environmental science students.
The center, shaded by tall trees and plants, is designed to blend into that preserve.
Like those plants, the center gets much of its energy from the sun through solar panels.
Inside the building, they get 10-percent of their power from solar panels.
Cold air is also piped in from 260 feet below the surface to provide air conditioning.
"All these things are conserving energy. We use less fossil fuels. Lower our carbon footprint. And we get better air quality which is a big issue in this region," said Wear.
Right now Charlotte's air quality is below federal standards.
The students graduating from this program can now better fight that battle in the future.