Berea College is now home to two of only seven projects certified nationwide — and just thirty-five worldwide — by the Forest Stewardship Council.
This distinction by the Forest Stewardship Council was awarded to Berea College for the recent comprehensive renovation of the Anna Smith residence hall. The FSC certification specifies that wood products used in such construction and building renovations meet rigorous standards, such as coming from forests that manage and protect water quality, prohibit harvest of rare old-growth forest, prevent loss of natural forest cover, and prohibit use of highly hazardous chemicals.
The Anna Smith building, originally constructed in 1949/50 to house 88 students and two faculty supervisors, is a three story building plus a basement. The original foundation, roof and overall structure remained intact throughout the renovation. Interior walls were removed and replaced using metal framing. The building’s framing, constructed of the original timber, was not altered as part of the renovation. However, a new dormer was added and much work was done to reinforce the standing construction. Kitchen areas and bathrooms were built with FSC certified casework. Other FSC certified components include wooden doors, window frames, trim, handrails, and blocking in the walls and roofing. All new wood material — both for the structure and the furnishings — came from FSC certified sources.
“This latest distinction by the Forest Stewardship Council is yet another demonstration of Berea College’s commitment to plain living and stewardship of Appalachian resources,” says Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “We are so very pleased to have this building join a growing list of facilities at Berea College that have achieved national, and even international, recognition for being built or renovated in the most environmentally sound methods.”
Berea’s Capital Projects Manager Richard Dodd, who is certified for Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody Project Certification, says “Beyond promoting sustainable design and construction in our region, we want to be sure that our local economy benefits from the many projects happening around campus. By following the USGBC LEED Certification program, we’re mandating the use of local, sustainably derived materials and products for each project. During the Anna Smith Renovation, we spent 70% of the materials budget locally. Likewise, the Forest Stewardship Council’s full FSC Project Certification verifies that 100% of the wood and wood components used in the renovation had been harvested from responsibly managed forests. This achievement expresses Berea’s commitment in promoting the health of our region’s Sustainable Forest industry.”
The building was named for Anna Louise Smith, who worked at Berea College from 1907 until her retirement in 1935. According to information in “Building a College: An Architectural History of Berea College,” by Robert P. Boyce, a long-time faculty member and chair of the Berea College art department, Miss Smith was an assistant to the president and a “field worker” who traveled nationally raising funds for the College. She was involved in establishing the Adjustment Fund that helped the College underwrite the establishment of Lincoln Institute. Boyce states Miss Smith’s efforts also were instrumental to Berea College in securing money to build Seabury Gymnasium, Elizabeth Rogers residence hall, and the Charles Martin Hall Science Building.
Berea, the South’s first interracial and coeducational college, focuses on learning, labor, and service. Berea admits academically promising students, primarily from Appalachia, who have limited economic resources. No student is charged tuition. All students must work at least 10 hours weekly, earning money for books, room and board. Graduates from Berea go on to distinguish themselves and the College in many fields, living out the College’s scriptural motto “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth.” (Acts 17:26).
Anna Smith Residence Hall. Photo taken April 2, 2013.
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