Sherley Hall reopens with eco-friendly certification

Editor’s note: This article was edited for accuracy on Sept. 15 at 1:42 p.m.

Sherley Hall, which reopened this fall as a coed residence hall after undergoing a $16 million renovation, has earned the second-highest level of certification from the the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for the project’s eco-friendly design and construction.

Harold Leeman, associate director of major projects at TCU, said that after the project was completed during the summer, the residence hall became the first building on campus to be awarded LEED certification. Sherley Hall earned LEED Gold certification, the second-highest level of certification based on USGBC’s internationally-recognized rating scale.

According to USGBC, projects must satisfy certain prerequisites and then be rated based on their degree of compliance to seven areas: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design and regional priority. According to the rating system, regional priority involves geographically specific environmental issues.

Lisa Albert, associate director of communications, said the renovations aimed to update the 50-year-old building to meet student residential expectations and make it more accessible. Energy consumption for heating, cooling and lighting have all been reduced significantly, Albert said. The detrimental effects of new construction were diminished by reusing 98 percent of the original building, she said. The residence hall now includes a recycling room on every floor for paper, plastic, aluminum, glass and cardboard items, she said.

Luke Morrill, Sherley’s hall director, said students are excited about the prospect of campus buildings becoming more environmentally responsible.

“I think it’s definitely one of the main reasons students want to live here,” Morrill said.

The new facilities and the basement-level theater also help attract residents, he said.

In 2008, Chancellor Victor Boschini signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, under which the university agreed to environmentally friendly practices. Under this agreement, all new buildings are required to comply with LEED’s Silver standards. Gold certification is one level above, according to the USGBC Web site.

Over the summer, construction projects and renovations began in full swing for Milton Daniel Hall, the Moudy Building and Scharbauer Hall, all of which are being built under USGBC stipulations, Leeman said.

The renovation of Milton Daniel Hall began in June. The plans include a variety of room layouts, study areas, meeting rooms and a private outdoor patio for lectures and other functions, Albert said. The residence hall will house 301 students from the John V. Roach Honors College upon the project’s completion, scheduled for August 2010.

Milton Daniel Hall was chosen to undergo renovations after Sherley Hall was completed as part of a residence hall renovation process that has been going on for eight years, Leeman said. Milton Daniel and Colby halls are the two remaining unrenovated buildings, he said.

“Milton Daniel was chosen because it was in a lot worse shape than Colby,” Leeman said.

The plans for Colby Hall have not been approved by the Chancellor’s executive committee yet, Leeman said. The Chancellor’s executive committee is made up of senior TCU staff, which includes vice chancellors, and some members of the board of trustees. The board of trustees funds the renovations.

Albert said the Schieffer School of Journalism’s renovation of Moudy Building South is well under way.

The planned improvements include a new convergence teaching lab, an additional broadcast studio, an office suite, a new conference room and the renovation of the dean’s suite. The new convergence lab, scheduled to be completed in January 2010, will allow journalism students to practice multi-platform journalism and will assist in modernizing the journalism program, Albert said.

Construction at Moudy South will be taking place while classes are in session, but Leeman said it shouldn’t pose a problem.

“Most of the noise is outside, so construction shouldn’t interfere,” he said.

Scharbauer Hall, the planned future home for the AddRan College of Liberal Arts and the Honors College, is scheduled to be completed in December and will also be LEED certified, Leeman said.