APUS Celebrates Grand Opening of Energy-Efficient Academic Center in Charles Town, WV
Charles Town, W.Va., November 18, 2010 — American Public University System (APUS) today held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of 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 (AMU) and American Public University (APU), which educate more than 75,000 adult learners worldwide.
“The new academic center will further enable faculty and staff to collaborate in supporting and educating thousands of aspiring students,” said APUS President & CEO Dr. Wallace E. Boston. “By empowering our students to identify new opportunities, analyze risk, and seek innovative approaches to problems, we are helping prepare them for leadership in a rapidly changing world.”
Highlights of the 45,000-square foot, four-story brick facility include the following:
- Meeting and office space for more than 140 APUS faculty, academic staff and student advisors;
- A library with one of the nation’s major collections for research in military studies and military history; and
- Energy-efficient design featuring advanced thermal insulation of windows and walls, variable lighting and cooling to manage energy use, and solar panels to provide a portion of energy requirements.
APUS will seek gold-level certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for the facility, which was constructed to standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council. “The environmentally-friendly features employed in construction and in material selection were designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a healthier work environment for employees and a cleaner environment overall for the community of Charles Town and Jefferson County,” noted Dr. Boston.
“Integral to the APUS mission is a commitment to expanding access to affordable online higher education in a manner that supports local communities and respects the environment,” added Dr. Boston. APUS is a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment – a promise to work toward reducing the online institution’s already low carbon footprint in the years to come. This includes the use of environmentally-friendly office products, an extensive recycling program, and the use of two electric vehicles for local business travel.
Located in the center of the Charles Town – Ranson “Commerce Corridor”, a 1.5 mile segment with more than a dozen abandoned and under-utilized Brownfields slated for new office and retail development, the new “green” facility represents a major economic investment in the downtown area. At the same time, the building’s architecture is designed to preserve and complement the character and history of Charles Town with a blend of old and new design elements.
Congratulating APUS and the Charles Town-Ranson community on their achievement, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus stated, “Charles Town and Ranson have developed a vision for the Commerce Corridor as an area-wide brownfields plan, and this APUS Academic Center is the first step towards a broader revitalization of the Commerce Corridor. It is because of this track record of success in redeveloping brownfields in the Commerce Corridor that the EPA selected Ranson as one of 23 pilot communities to receive assistance under our new Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program.”
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 15 properties in Charles Town.