ITHACA, NY—The new “green” home of the Ithaca College School of Business will be formally dedicated on Thursday, April 24, as the Dorothy D. and Roy H. Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise. The name represents the support provided by Mrs. Park for the construction of the building—which will serve as a model of sustainability in action—as well as the school’s commitment to becoming a leader in producing business graduates who not only achieve financial and professional success, but also promote social justice and environmental stewardship.
The 38,800-square-foot facility, which opened with the start of the spring 2008 semester, was built to platinum-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, the highest certification of the U.S. Green Building Council. Upon certification, the Park Center will be the first facility for an undergraduate business program in the world to achieve this designation, and one of only nine platinum LEED buildings on a U.S. college or university campus.
The dedication festivities will include a keynote address, “Changing the Corporate Responsibility Paradigm through Innovation,” by Lee Bird, president of Nike Affiliates and a 1986 graduate of Ithaca College; and the third annual student-faculty colloquium, “Sustainability in Action,” featuring presentations of original research by business students with their faculty sponsors.
The official dedication of the Park Center will take place at 5:15 p.m. in the atrium, with refreshments and tours of the building to follow. Remarks will be delivered by Susan West Engelkemeyer, dean of the School of Business; Peggy R. Williams, president of Ithaca College; and Lawrence M. Alleva ’71, co-chair of the School of Business Campaign Committee.
“Once dismissed by some as a public relations strategy or a drain on profits, the concept of sustainability has risen to the forefront in the global business community,” said Engelkemeyer. “With its focus on these principles of sustainability, collaboration and innovation, the building is truly a teaching tool that brings to life the lessons of sustainable practices delivered by the school’s forward-looking curriculum.”
The sustainable features of the $17 million building include
- A vegetated roof to help control wastewater runoff and provide a thermal cushion against significant temperature fluctuation.
- Heat and light from a multistory, south-facing wall of glass to dramatically reduce energy consumption.
- Extensive use of day lighting throughout the building, minimizing energy needs.
- A white roof to reduce heat load in the building.
- Purchase of 50 percent of the electricity used for the building from renewable sources.
- A storm water reclamation system for use with the building’s plumbing.
- A physical environment intentionally created to encourage a sense of community, shared purpose and collaboration.
Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the Park Center also features tiered classrooms, a technology lab and trading room, faculty offices, breakout rooms and an atrium.
Dorothy D. Park contributed the lead gift toward the School of Business building project, which was part of Ithaca College’s “Making a World of Difference” fund-raising campaign. She is president of the Park Foundation, which has supported a number of programs that foster education and the environment at Ithaca College as well as in the local community. Her late husband, Roy H. Park, was the founder of Park Communications Inc. and a longtime chairman of the Ithaca College Board of Trustees. The college’s Roy H. Park School of Communications was named in his honor in 1989.
The Ithaca College School of Business is accredited by AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) International and is included in the “Best 290 Business Schools,” published by “Princeton Review.” Some 700 students are enrolled in its bachelor of science degree programs in business administration or accounting, with another 30 studying for an MBA. For more information on the school, visit www.ithaca.edu/business.