Creating a Sustainable Community
As the Mount Mary University community grows and changes, so does the need for social awareness. New buildings and renovated areas are created with careful consideration for sustainability. Employees are engaged in active participation in that process.
Sustainable Innovations 101
In 2009, the university’s President Council launched an internal program to generate ideas to not only save costs, but also help the university ensure it is being a good steward of its resources. Since then, more than 60 ideas from employees were submitted.
A committee has reviewed every idea and categorized them according those requiring no expense to initiate, those requiring an initial expense that would recouped within 12 to 18 months and those ideas requiring a significant investment but would also result in significant future savings. Implementation is ongoing.
A generous challenge gift of $1 million from the School Sisters of Notre Dame served as a catalyst for a campaign to make a number of campus improvements that promote sustainability.
- Notre Dame Hall circle driveway: The circle driveway in front of Notre Dame Hall was reconstructed to feature an environmentally sensitive drainage system that captures and filters run off from the pavement before it enters the nearby Menomonee River.
- Campus facilities assessment: In 2009, architects from southeastern Wisconsin prepared proposals related to space usage, including development of the Library Learning Center/Student Success Center and a relocated child care center and the needs of other campus administrative units. A new Student Success Center opened in Haggerty Library in 2011 and the library also was renovated. The center offers a one-stop shop of resources geared toward student success, including academic tutoring, computer workstations, reference materials, quiet study areas and a convenient coffee shop. Student service offices and personnel are now located in a central office rather than spread across campus.
- Notre Dame Hall windows: Funds from Renew-Refresh-Replace Campaign’s second phase have been earmarked for the replacement of the original windows in Notre Dame Hall. Built in 1929, the windows are no longer energy efficient. In an effort to maintain the integrity historic building, the replacement windows will replicate the original windows but will use energy efficient materials and will provide long-term improvements in comfort, maintenance and energy use.