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New dorm to be dedicated at UMM Sept. 28

UMM will hold a formal dedication for the Green Prairie Community, a new residence hall, on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 4 p.m.

MORRIS, Minn. -- The University of Minnesota, Morris will hold a formal dedication of the new Green Prairie Community  on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 4 p.m.  The dedication is being held as part of UMM's Homecoming celebration.

Providing housing for 72 students, the new residence hall extends Morris’s liberal arts mission and expands its thriving sustainability initiatives. The LEED-designed facility invests in a sustainable future by encouraging green community outreach and research and by offering students leadership opportunities beyond the classroom. The hall is comprised of four wings, two of which house students especially interested in pursuing sustainable lifestyles.

“The Green Prairie Community serves the growing number of students who wish to live on campus and advances our distinctive campus commitment to building a model community for the future,” says Sandra Olson-Loy, vice chancellor for student affairs. “We are proud to provide a residence hall where our students can bring their vision for a more sustainable community to life everyday.”

Built partially into a hill at the northeast area of the campus historic district, the Green Prairie Community features prairie-school architecture, brick and stucco exteriors, hip roofs, and long eaves to reflect the signature style of Morris’s historic buildings. The facility’s location was intended to capitalize on green design possibilities and connection to the prairie ecosystem, and its construction emphasized regional and recycled materials. The building is powered, heated, and cooled with renewable energy from Morris’s onsite wind and biomass community-based energy systems.

The Green Prairie Community was designed to meet Minnesota B3 sustainability guidelines and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards. The hall was constructed with high thermal mass insulated concrete forms (ICF) to prevent winter heat loss and summer heat gain. Its interior finishes support healthy air quality, and its low-flow plumbing fixtures conserve water. Enhanced building systems commissioning ensure measure energy use and optimal systems function.

The Green Prairie Living and Learning Community was designed by LHB, Inc., a multi-disciplinary engineering, architecture, and planning firm dedicated to being environmentally responsible, reducing long-term operating costs, and improving the quality of life for its clients. McGough Construction served as general contractor. Construction began in December 2012 and was finished in August 2013.

Tours and a reception will follow the ceremony. Parking is available in all campus lots, with the most convenient lot being the North Parking Lot.