Future Winn Center set to be a “model for environmental design”

Anticipation grew among faculty as the construction of the Winn Center, Cosumnes River College’s new, energy-efficient addition to the campus, is possibly set to break ground in November, Public Information Officer Kristie West said.

Completion of the center is expected by mid-2013, but dates have been subject to change based on challenges the winter weather might bring, said West .

First in the district to have been affirmed a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum status, an internationally recognized certification for green building, the Winn Center was designed specifically to conserve energy and the environment, Vice President of Administrative and Student Support Don Wallace said.

“This building will be an outstanding representation of what the Los Rios Community College District has worked hard to be for years, that is, a leader in educational excellence and environmental sustainability,” Wallace said. “Students will be well served by these new facilities and, I hope, will be proud to be a part of the excellent programs housed within this building.”

This addition to campus will house programs and classes for the departments of Photography, Architecture, and Pharmacy Technology, including “specific lab spaces” for them, said Wallace.

Unique, energy-efficient structures within its design such as “chilled beams, an energy-recovery system, solar panels, energy-efficient windows and glazing, maximum use of natural-day lighting by using skylights and lighting controls, renewable materials, recycled materials, bio-swale landscape (an advanced structural alternative to stormwater drain systems), passive heating and cooling,” work toward creating a more environmentally aware and respectful mindset on campus, said John Ellis, an architecture professor.

“It will be an educational model for environmental design professions and it will inspire our students now and into the future,” Ellis said.

Funding for the construction was approved by voters from the Los Rios District, which will be served by a local construction bond, said Wallace.

“It is, in a sense, extra money that the voters have given the district for the very sole purpose of construction and upkeep of the facilities,” Wallace said. “Therefore, the use of those funds to build the Winn Center will have no direct impact on the expenses of the campus.”

Hoping to break ground in November, faculty said they were excited for the new addition to campus.

“I am so proud of what our district, our students and all of the industry professionals have done in making this iconic building happen,” Ellis said. “Regional contractors, architects, developers and professional organizations have given all of their time and financial support to bring this dream to fruition.”