Feb. 06, 2013

College celebrates the opening of the new Monroe Hall on Feb. 7


Geneseo celebrates the reopening of the renovated Monroe Hall, which features sustainable construction features, on Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. /PHOTO BY KEITH WALTERS '11






Marisa Dprich '16 arrived in January to begin her first semester of childhood education studies at Geneseo with a new home in Monroe Hall. She was joined by more than 150 guaranteed-admission first-year and transfer students in the residence hall, which opened after a year and a half of renovation to provide modern amenities and everyday comfort with a focus on sustainability to reduce environmental impact.

Monroe has applied to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Development (LEED) gold-level certification. The entire process — from design to construction — used environmentally friendly materials. Even construction waste that accumulated during demolition was recycled, says David Norton, project manager. It is the second building on campus to utilize geothermal wells. Seneca residence hall is the first. The building also harvests rainwater collected from the roof for flushing toilets. In the lobby, students can see how much energy is used —and is being saved in Monroe —in comparison to other buildings on campus via a screen display.

The building had not been renovated since it opened in 1961. It now features modern double rooms, a few suites, and kitchenettes and laundry facilities on each floor. A seminar room, a classroom, a music room, a computer room and a media room are among the new common spaces in the hall.

"It's an absolute privilege, especially as my first college experience," to live in Monroe, says Dprich, who appreciates that rainwater is used. "They harvest the rain and we can actually see it. That's a really cool aspect of it."

Tomorrow, Feb. 7, Geneseo celebrates the reopening of Monroe at 3 p.m. in the lobby with a brief program and remarks by President Christopher C. Dahl, Monroe County Legislature President Jeff Adair, Vice President for Student and Campus Life Bob Bonfiglio, and Resident Assistant Michael Cooke '13.

Representatives from the architecture and engineering firms will also speak about energy efficiencies and innovations used in Monroe Hall. There will also be tours of the rainwater collection tanks.

"I talked to a lot of new students and their parents who moved into Monroe and they are just really delighted," says Celia Easton, dean of residential living. "It looks stylish and welcoming there."

Easton says residence life wants to maintain a home-like feel in Monroe, which will include a living-learning community for physics and biology majors for fall 2013. Another Monroe living-learning community will house students taking the same INTD 105 writing seminar.

• The celebration of the reopening of Monroe Hall is Thursday, Feb. 7, at 3 p.m. in the hall's lobby. A reception follows.