APUS Breaks Ground on New Academic Center in Charles Town, WV
New Energy Efficient Facility Designed to Complement the Historical Character of Charles Town and to Support the Institution’s Continued Expansion
Charles Town, W.Va., October 15, 2009 — With several local and national dignitaries in attendance, American Public University System (APUS) held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on its new, energy-efficient academic center in the heart of Charles Town, West Virginia. APUS is a regionally and nationally accredited online institution of higher education operating through two universities, American Military University and American Public University, which educate more than 53,000 adult learners worldwide.
The new academic and admissions building will be located in the heart of the Charles Town – Ranson “Commerce Corridor”, a former Brownfield of abandoned and under-utilized former industrial sites slated for new office and retail development. The 45,000-square foot facility represents a major economic investment in the downtown area.
In attendance at today’s groundbreaking was David R. Lloyd, Director of the Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization, who stated, “The EPA is proud to have provided some of the environmental assessment funding that allowed this impressive project to develop. The outcome from today's groundbreaking event will represent an important goal of the EPA Brownfields Program - to help assess and clean contaminated sites, and to help communities reuse land in a sustainable way that will benefit the environmental and economic health of the community."
The new four story building will be constructed for LEED-certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) as a “green” facility and built to standards set by US Green Building Council (USGBC). Some of the environmental features include highly efficient insulation and windows, lighting controls to manage energy use, a modern variable refrigerant HVAC system, and solar panels on the roof to provide a portion of the building’s energy requirements. When completed, the building will initially accommodate approximately 140 personnel and contain one of the world’s largest book collections on military history.
At today’s groundbreaking ceremony, APUS President Wallace E. Boston, Jr. stated, “As American Public University System expands to serve increasing numbers of students who aspire to greater personal and professional success, we continue to be mindful of our responsibility to society and the communities we serve. We are committed to expanding access to affordable online higher education and to institutional growth in a manner that respects local communities and the environment.”
APUS is a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) – a promise to work toward climate neutrality through a climate action plan currently being developed and implemented.
“The new APUS Academic Center’s architecture reflects a blend of old and new architectural elements,” added Mr. Boston. “They are designed to preserve and complement the character of Charles Town and include modern features built to meet high environmental standards and energy efficiency.”
Since 2002, APUS has renovated several local buildings, including the former County Office Building, the former Jefferson County Hospital and Knott Nursing Home, the former Acme grocery building and ABC building, the former Avanti Restaurant, and the former home of Mayor Thomas Claiborne Green, one of John Brown’s defense attorneys. With the addition of the new academic center, the university owns or leases 14 properties in Charles Town, West Virginia.
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