Will the new Sports Center be eco-friendly?


Burtland Dixon

By Burtland Dixon

Sports Editor

Changes are stirring here at CSUSM and around the world, ones with environmental implications.

The student population is increasing at a rapid rate which has caused for our campus to build new facilities to accommodate the large number of students. With the change from NAIA to NCAA coming sooner rather than later, the need for our own gym is a necessity. Construction for the new gym, or Sports Center as it will be called, has already commenced.

As for the changes around the world, it is vital for mankind to know that our ecosystem is slowly taking a turn for the worse. However, just like the recent addition to the CSUSM campus, the USU, the Sports Center will go to great lengths to stay as environmentally responsible as possible.

What are some ways a building can be eco-friendly? Well, for starters there are the devices called solar panels that drain the sun’s light and converts it into free power. Unfortunately, solar panels are not included in the initial construction of the Sports Center, but can possibly be added on later.

“The new arena is being built by student fees,” Sustainability Manager, Juliana Goodlaw-Morris, said.

With the overall cost of this project already at $11.4 million without solar panels, our student fees would raise higher if the plans included the solar panels. Fortunately, the Sports Center will be utilizing other resources and options outside of solar panels.

“They are going to be building this building to LEED silver specifications,” Goodlaw-Morris said.

This is good news for multiple reasons. LEED is a green building certification program whose buildings save money and resources and have a positive impact on the health of the occupants, while promoting renewable, clean energy. A building cannot be LEED certified if it isn’t up to sustainable measures that include water efficiency, indoor environmental quality and materials and resources. LEED has four levels of specifications: certified, silver, gold and platinum. CSUSM is required to have at least a minimum level of silver with each new building that is built, an accomplishment many institutions don’t reach.

“Even getting LEED silver specifications is a feat in itself, there are many schools across the country that don’t have that as a standard,” Goodlaw-Morris said.

What it comes down to essentially is the money and that is always the case with anything when it comes to systems and corporations. If the money was there the solar panels would be installed and the Sports Center would be up to LEED platinum specifications, simple as that. That’s just how the cookie crumbles in this situation, the money just isn’t there, but the most is being done to enable the Sports Center to be as eco-friendly as it can be. As it would appear, CSUSM is doing its part to adjust to both the university and worldly fluxes.