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Posted on Sun, Oct 23, 2011 : 5:15 p.m.

WCC showcases renovations to Occupational Education building

By Julie Baker

Washtenaw Community College showed off environmentally friendly renovations to its newly renamed Larry L. Whitworth Occupational Education Building during an open house on Sunday.

The renovations update the look, feel and practically of the building, which is home to classes in welding, automotive, child care and heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

Janet Hawkins, associate director of public affairs at WCC, said the renovations were done in stages and took about a year to complete. Funding for the project came from $14.8 million in bonds WCC received from the state in 2008.

The WCC Board of Trustees approved the naming of the building after Whitworth, who retired as president of WCC in August after serving for 13 years.

The building offers students a working example of green building. Energy-efficient features include a geothermal system, low-volume toilets and sinks, rooftop solar panels, LED lights, rubber flooring and carpeting made from recyclable materials, as well as light sensors in hallways and classrooms.

A new roof combines a reflective, energy efficient material and a live, vegetative system to help preserve building temperature. The geothermal system helps keep the building temperature around 76 degrees.

There also are waterborne paint booths for the application of nontoxic paint used in automobile refinishing.

"The college is certainly reducing energy costs in heating and cooling," Hawkins said. "The exact figures have yet to be determined, but we're essentially taking it offline by using geothermal. We're really excited about seeing that impact."

She said the cosmetic changes in new building — including hallway designs and seating areas — also will better showcase the academic programs that WCC offers.



Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 6:46 a.m.

There is no doubt that we should better build schoolrooms for " the boy," than cells and gibbets for "the Man" learn to get a degree from "High Speed Universities" article in few months and get a job

Mr. Ed

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 4:08 a.m.

I served the public for 30 years no one named a building after me.