The New Academic Building will be built to meet Silver certification standards by The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.
Sean Ramsden

Citing student growth and a continued responsibility to the environment, President Mordechai Rozanski led a team of shovel-wielding University administrators, local government officials and student leaders to break ground on Rider’s New Academic Building and Bart Luedeke Center Theater expansion on Friday, May 7, on its Lawrenceville campus.

“We need an academic building with classrooms and faculty offices because our enrollment has grown and we need to maintain the small class experience for our students,” said Rozanski. “And we need performing-arts space because our Westminster College of the Arts has been a great success with the College’s School of Fine and Performing Arts growing in enrollment as well.”

The Westminster College of the Arts includes the Westminster Choir College in Princeton and the School of Fine and Performing Arts in Lawrenceville.

Rozanski also mentioned Rider’s listing by the U.S. Green Building Council and The Princeton Review last month in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges, placing the University among the top 7 percent of green campuses in the nation.

The New Academic Building will be built to meet Silver certification standards by The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System (See LEED Information and Qualifications below).

Clearly pleased by the plans, other Rider administrators echoed Rozanski’s enthusiasm. “This is a happy day, especially for faculty and students, with the addition of much-needed classroom space,” said Dr. Donald Steven, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. It makes meaningful our commitment to student-centeredness.”

The construction and renovation project was also met with appreciation from Rider student representatives. “Thanks you for this newest addition to the Rider community,” said Brian Guzman, incoming president of the Student Government Association. “Your passion and generosity for our campus will be reciprocated by today’s students as they grow and become leaders in the community.”

Scheduled for use in fall 2011, the $13 million New Academic Building and Performing Arts Project includes a new 21,250-square-foot academic building and plaza next to the Franklin F. Moore Library and Memorial Hall. It will feature 12 classrooms/seminar rooms, including a 150-seat lecture hall, and 15 faculty and departmental offices, and a functional renovation to improve HVAC systems and energy performance in the 50-year-old Memorial Hall.

The 11,000-square-foot expansion of the auditorium in the Bart Luedeke Center, originally constructed in 1970, will create a full teaching and production theater with seating for 350. The project will include additional stage depth, a “set fly” with wings, two dressing rooms, a green room, set shop, several offices and practice space for performances in additional to enhanced lighting and sound in the theater.

The majority of the funds used for this project come from donations, including a generous bequest from Franklin B. Moore II, the son and grandson of Rider presidents also named Franklin Moore. The project was designed by Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc., an award-winning, full-service architecture, planning, and design firm from Trenton, that has emerged as a leader in environmentally friendly construction.

The anticipated completion date for the New Academic Building is June 1, 2011. The Bart Luedeke Center Theater expansion is expected to be completed by August 1, 2011. 

LEED Information and Qualifications:

The New Academic Building will be built to meet Silver certification standards by The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.

Rider pledged to meet these standards when Rozanski signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, directing that all further new campus construction would be LEED certified. Rider’s West Village Residence Halls, which opened in fall 2009, were recently certified LEED Silver.

LEED certification is based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. For example:

  • The buildings are superinsulated to perform 14 percent better than base code requirements, and the slabs are made with concrete that includes recycled fly ash concrete, one of the residues generated in the combustion of coal 
  • The low-flow fixtures, storm-water management and native plantings reduce water use by 35 percent
  • Paints, carpeting, flooring and adhesives were selected that do no emit harmful gases and odors
  • More than 20 percent of construction materials were obtained locally and at least 75 percent of construction waste was recycled
  • Energy used is generated via renewable methods to reduce Rider’s carbon footprint
  • Covered bicycle racks are present to encourage low-emission modes of transportation

The Bart Luedeke Center Theater expansion will also utilize sustainable methods of construction, including low-emitting materials, energy-efficient HVAC equipment, a white roof for heat reflection and regional construction materials. It also calls for the recycling of construction waste – all methods used in the construction of the New Academic Building.