Garrett County Government - Department of Business Development

STEM Center Awarded LEED Certification

Last Updated on Jul 1, 2019 at 10:26am | Education

Article courtesy of NCWV Media - The Republican. Staff Reporter: Joseph Hauger.
The Daniel E. Offutt III STEM Center at Garrett College is officially LEED gold certified.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design references buildings that have been designed, built, and maintained using best practices and strategies for both green building and energy efficiency.
The Garrett facility’s gold certification is the second highest certification in the four-level LEED ratings, just below platinum.
“I’m really proud of everyone who contributed to this recognition,” said Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College’s president. “Kathy Meagher, our director of campus facilities, was our point person for achieving LEED Gold, and Randy Bittinger, our vice president for administrative and financial services, provided high-level leadership. I’d also like to recognize our architect, Grimm & Parker, who made LEED certification an early project goal.”
GC’s Offutt Center is also the first building project to receive gold-level recognition in Garrett or Allegany counties.
“This accomplishment is the result of the efforts of Kathy Meagher, Grimm & Parker, and our contractor, Harbel Inc.,” Bittinger said. “Their persistence in coming up with solutions to project challenges and attention to detail in the process paid off, resulting in the first LEED Gold building in Western Maryland.”
In order for a building project to obtain LEED distinction, the facility is required to meet specific goals and standards, set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Criteria range from energy and water efficiency, materials and resource use, to operations and maintenance.
Meagher noted GC’s newest facility is the result of the complete renovation and expansion of a 1970s building originally built to teach mine safety and technology classes.
“The addition to the existing building incorporated the use of regional materials obtained from local resources. We used local providers and reduced the environmental impact that results from transporting materials over long distances,” Meagher said. “Most of the materials removed during the interior demolition of the original building were either recycled or diverted to other construction sites, which prevented the materials from being added to our landfills.”
The Offutt Center, which opened in September, includes classrooms, student spaces, faculty offices and laboratories for physics, biology, chemistry, engineering and robotics.