This spring Elon finalized its Climate Action Plan, a blueprint for shrinking its carbon footprint and promoting conservation in the coming decades by addressing energy use, transportation, solid waste and other sources of emissions on campus.
The plan includes recommendations for incorporating sustainability and climate change into education, research and community outreach. The strategies and goals outlined in the university’s plan will, by 2037, reduce emissions from what the university produced in its 2008 baseline year. Those reductions are expected even as the campus increases its building square footage through future projects.
Elon University will receive up to $200,000 in federal grant money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help with the installation of solar thermal systems that will heat water each day in a dining hall and a number of residence halls. As part of the project, the Colonnades Dining Hall will receive a 30-panel solar thermal system to heat building water. Additional residence halls are included in the funding.
Elon began several construction projects this summer, including renovations and construction in Alumni Gymnasium, Latham Park, Greek housing and the Colonnades. The latter two projects will add a total of 1,600 beds. Work also continues on the 30,000-square-foot Alumni Field House to the north of Rhodes Stadium. In addition to the new construction, a geothermal heating and cooling system is under construction for the Colonnades complex. One hundred and twelve wells, each one 440 feet deep, are being drilled over the summer months. Also, a new pedestrian tunnel under the railroad tracks that links main campus areas to South Campus opened in May.