Bryn Mawr campaign emphasizes environment

June 11, 1998|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF

Seeking to create a campus that is more in harmony with nature -- and students who will be better stewards of it -- Bryn Mawr School is launching a campaign to increase public awareness of the fragile state of the environment and the need to protect it.

"Stewardship 2000" is the name of the school's environmental initiative. Its goal is to produce a "sustainability plan" that touches all areas of the campus, from the teaching curriculum to the buildings in which classes are taught.

"At the end of the 20th century, we live in a civilization that is profoundly at odds with nature," said Rebecca MacMillan Fox, head of the school, in announcing the initiative.

"We must find ways to educate our students about how to live on and use this fragile planet. We also must help them to use their powers of critical thinking and their habits of leadership and activism to challenge and change a society mired in a culture of waste."

As the first phase of this initiative, Bryn Mawr will break ground at 10 a.m. today for a campus building that is designed to be a showcase for environmentally responsible construction and a symbol of the school's commitment to environmental education.

A one-story admissions cottage, designed by Cho Wilks and Benn of Baltimore, will house the school's admissions department while doubling as the starting point for a more environmentally sensitive physical development plan.

The architects have worked with environmental consultants to design a structure that will be built with recycled materials, and employ solar technology for heating and cooling.

Notable features of the $600,000 admissions cottage will include wood recycled during routine campus maintenance, photovoltaic panels used as a supplemental system for electricity, a "rain garden" or bio-retention area to minimize storm water runoff, and counter tops made from the school's recycled paper products.

The 2,800-square-foot building will serve as a "living classroom" that will enable Bryn Mawr's students and visitors to study aspects of environmentally sound construction, monitor energy consumption and conduct scientific experiments.

As part of the groundbreaking event on the campus at 109 W. Melrose Ave., student members of Bryn Mawr's Environmental Awareness Club will present a tree to the school's head of grounds to be planted on the site once the building is completed. Upper school science students will present recommendations for making the cottage "environmentally friendly," and seventh-graders will display models of solar houses that they designed and constructed.

Pub Date: 6/11/98

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