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Chatham University unveils master plan for nation's first sustainable campus at Eden Hall


Since 2008, when The Eden Hall Foundation donated the 338-acre Eden Hall Farm in Richland Township to Chatham University, the school has been hard at work developing plans for a revolutionary second campus on the property. Last week, Chatham unveiled its master plan for the Eden Hall Campus, which will house the newly formed School of Sustainability and the Environment and will be the first campus in the nation to integrate sustainable development, learning, and living.

"Eden Hall Campus and the School of Sustainability and the Environment are at the leading edge of a global movement toward a sustainable future," says Dr. Esther Barazzone, president of Chatham University. "Together, the school and the campus will be a one-of-a-kind living laboratory, advancing understanding and progress as we seek sustainable answers to the world's social, economic, and environmental concerns."

Chatham worked with architects Berkebile Nelson Immenschuh McDowell and landscape designers Andropogon Associates to develop the master plan, with financial support from Richard King Mellon Foundation and PNC. The plan calls for 20 years worth of projects including LEED certified dorms, academic facilities, greenhouses, and wetlands, designed not only for The School of Sustainability and the Environment but for many other programs to utilize. For instance, the first facilities will feature kitchen teaching space for The Food Studies department.

Chatham hopes to break ground by late spring on the estimated $30 million first phase of the project, which entails one to three years of intensive landscape restoration, and the conversion of two existing barns and construction of a new building into the Mueller Center Campus facilities. The buildings will serve as classroom space, two small dorms, a dining hall, an aquaponics facility, and two greenhouses.

The Mueller Center Campus is one of four sections of the overall campus detailed in the master plan, which calls for development of only half of the 338-acres.  The rest will be left to nature to develop.

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Writer: John Farley
Source: Esther Barazzone, Chatham University
             Robert Berkebile, BNIM

Image courtesy of Chatham University and BNIM
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