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Contractors to break ground for the Green Prairie Living and Learning Community on Monday

MORRIS - Construction of the new Green Prairie Living and Learning Community (GPLLC) at the University of Minnesota, Morris will soon be underway. McGough Construction, general contractor for the project, will begin work on Monday, Dec. 10. This new facility complements Morris's focus on environmental sustainability and marks the first residence hall construction on campus since 1971.

Located east of the Saddle Club Barn adjacent to the central parking lot, the two-story residence hall will provide suite-style housing for 72 students during the academic year. In the summer the facility will provide living and learning spaces for students, researchers, visiting scholars, and engaged citizens for research, workshops, and programs linked to the community-based renewable energy platforms in Morris and other campus initiatives. The facility is scheduled to be open for student housing in Fall 2013.

"The Green Prairie Living and Learning Community addresses both our need to offer contemporary accessible housing and our desire to expand summer programming," says Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson. "It will complement our campus sustainability initiatives and provide additional rooms for students who wish to live on campus."

Residential life is fundamental to Morris as a residential public liberal arts college, and the need for additional housing reflects both the strong enrollment on the Morris campus and increased interest in on-campus housing.

Morris has been leveraging sustainability, energy, and green initiatives as a means of advancing the overall University of Minnesota mission as an innovator and leader in this field. The new GPLLC will support student recruitment and retention as well as green campus and renewable energy initiatives. It is designed to meet Minnesota B3 sustainability guidelines and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards.

The GPLCC 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. Designs will be available for viewing in the Welcome Center, Student Center, and Office of Residential Life beginning the week of December 10, 2012.