Skagit Valley College, together with the project architects, design team, and contractors are proud to announce that Charles Lewis Hall has achieved LEED® Gold certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“Sustainability is an important focus of the Skagit Valley College strategic plan,” said Dr. Tom Keegan, President of SVC. “We are proud that our commitment to environmental responsibility and best practices has been recognized with LEED® Gold certification for Lewis Hall.”

The LEED® Gold certification for Lewis Hall is the second LEED® recognition for SVC facilities. In 2010, Laura Angst Hall became the first public higher education facility in Washington state to achieve LEED® Platinum certification.

The U.S. Green Building Council developed the LEED® green building certification program to encourage and accelerate global adoption of sustainable green building practices. The Council uses a rating system to identify projects based on environmental and health performance. The LEED® process is a third-party certification program that has become a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings.

Achieving sustainable design goals with Charles Lewis Hall began with the strong commitment of Skagit Valley College to surpass the state-mandated requirement for a LEED® Silver certification. As one of its strategic priorities, the College charged itself with modeling best practices that create facilities, systems, and programs that are regenerative and sustainable. This commitment enabled the design team to explore alternative approaches to maximizing building performance while minimizing the environmental footprint of what is the largest building on campus.

Among the green features of Lewis Hall, the interior and exterior includes a variety of environmentally-friendly amenities such as rain gardens and underground retention tanks that reuse rainwater to flush toilets, recycled content and locally manufactured building materials, and roof-top greenscapes that help mitigate rainwater runoff. The Gary Tollefson Plaza, located at the building’s main entrance, was designed as an open space with Northwest-style landscaping, gentle pedestrian walkways, and casual seating. The Plaza also includes several solar-powered USB charging stations for laptops, tablets, smart phones, and other mobile devices. Electric car charging stations and parking spaces for low emission vehicles are located in the parking lot.

Planning for the three-story, 70,000 square foot building began in 2005. Input into the Lewis Hall design was gathered from a committee comprised of students, faculty, and staff. The facility serves as the hub for students including enrollment services, financial aid, counseling, veterans’ education, and adult basic education, among other departments. Classrooms and faculty spaces for programs including math, English and literature, social and behavioral science, and testing are also located there. Lewis Hall opened its doors in September 2014, just in time for fall classes.

Architect for the $32.4 million building was Schreiber Starling & Lane of Seattle. The general contractor was Burke Construction Group of Cheney, WA.