Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus toured construction progress for Building One at The Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries campus. The County Executive was joined by City of Beacon Mayor Clara Lou Gould; Ann Meagher, President of the Greater Southern Dutchess Chamber of Commerce as well other Dutchess County officials including newly appointed Interim Environmental Coordinator Scott Chase. Leading the tour was John Cronin, Executive Director for The Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries. Building One will serve as an education center and a welcoming facility for The Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries campus at Denning's Point in Beacon. It is currently slated for completion this summer.
County Executive Steinhaus said, “This is certain to be a sought after destination location for residents and visitors alike. It is spectacular to see all of the carefully thought out details to this building from the original open and exposed trusses that have been beautifully preserved to the ingenious “green” roof that offers a magnificent view of the Hudson River.”
Building One is partially funded by a $750,000 county contribution. Also participating on the tour was County Clerk Bradford Kendall, who as former Chair of the Dutchess County Legislature, led the effort to secure the county appropriation. “We are very grateful to Dutchess County Government for helping us to make what you see here today happen. The contribution from Dutchess County was the first money in and it became the “magic money” to leverage other funding sources and made it possible for us to restore this building,” said John Cronin.
The tour was part of Dutchess County’s celebration of “Protecting the Environment Week” to highlight a true model of green building design. Building One is being constructed with a commitment to energy-efficient systems, sustainability and green building technology. Design elements include solar panels, composting toilets, a geothermal system that provides heating and cooling and wind towers on the roof to assist natural ventilation. There will even be a "green roof" of indigenous plants that will both reuse storm water and slow the buildings' heat gain and loss. Building One is anticipated to receive a LEED-Platinum certification – the highest certification - from the US Green Building Council. It will be one of only a few buildings across the country to receive the platinum rating and perhaps the first adaptive reuse building to achieve it.
According to Scott Chase, the newly appointed Interim Environmental Coordinator, “I am so impressed by all of the green design elements that have gone into the construction of Building One. It is truly an inspiration to see such a beautiful facility being built with an emphasis on the environment and it serves as a model for future development in the County.”
Dutchess County is also working with The Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries on the development of teacher training curriculum that will incorporate environmental lessons into core disciplines such as history, geography and science. The goal is to bring teachers to The Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries and allow them to bring the curriculum back to their students as part of the everyday studies. “Students in classrooms across Dutchess County will have the opportunity to learn about environmental care and develop an increased respect for our environment,” said Steinhaus.
“We all shared the state’s vision of a world class center, a place that would teach the children of the county about our environment and how we can work within it. It is exciting to see that vision become a reality,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.