University goes green with new goals

Greening up isn’t just an Earth Day proposition. Throughout campus, important green initiatives are on the table, including a possible agreement with TANK that may one day allow Northern Kentucky University students to ride the bus line at no charge.

“I can’t promise that this is going to work out, but right now it looks like faculty, staff and students will be able to ride TANK for free provided they have their ID card and a sticker,” said Larry Blake, assistant vice president of Facilities Management.

What started out as a negotiation with TANK to provide shuttle service from the Lakeside Nursing Home – site of the new residence hall tentatively slated to open January 2008 – was extended to the more inclusive plan.

“If the students take advantage of it, it will be a big plus,” Blake said.

Other shades of green include the renovation plans for Lakeside Nursing Home. The new dorms will achieve some level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification – a process that ensures certain environmental and energy-efficient standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council have been met. Blake noted that certification through Leed, Energy Star or an as-yet-determined accreditation will also be sought for the new Informatics building.

The Office of Facilities Management will also be seeking funds for additional staff and equipment to increase the scope of the campus recycling program. Budget requests include an increase in the program’s staffing from 1-1/2 to 3 full-time positions and a one-time expenditure of $60,000 for equipment that will include a $39,000 baler to facilitate recycling of plastics and glass. Final budget figures will be released April 18. “Assuming we get the personnel and the equipment that we need, we hope by the fall, when the students come back next year, that we have a much more extensive program in place,” Blake said.

A recent $4 million campus wide energy plan has improved energy efficiency among the campus’s heating, air conditioning and lighting systems, according to Blake.

He said Facilities Management is also working to implement the following initiatives: