Duke University's Board of Trustees on Friday approved the
construction of Duke Environment Hall, a 70,000-square-foot building that will
serve as the new home of the Nicholas School of the Environment. Groundbreaking
is expected in late April, with building completion by summer 2013.
Plans call for a five-story, glass-and-concrete building
that incorporates the highest sustainable features and technologies, and meets
or exceeds the criteria for LEED platinum certification.
The trustees also gave the go-ahead for a large-scale, water
reclamation pond on the fringe of West Campus. Instead of using water from the
city of Durham's drinking water supply, Duke will pump water from the six-acre
pond to one of Duke's nearby chilled water plants to produce chilled water for
cooling and dehumidifying campus and medical buildings. Duke officials expect
the initiative will save about 100 million gallons of potable water a year.
The new Environment Hall will be adjacent to the "A" wing of
the LSRC, the Nicholas School's current home, and will include classrooms,
computer labs and offices for faculty and administration, as well as an
environmental art gallery.
Incorporated into the new building will be advanced
technologies such as a green roof, solar hot water and photovoltaic systems,
greywater and rainwater recycling for toilets and irrigation, and natural
lighting. Other sustainable features include a chilled beam system for air
conditioning and a thermal corridor that provides natural insulation for
offices and laboratories. The cost of
the building is $35 million.
Hall will make a bold statement of Duke's commitment to leadership in forging a
sustainable environmental future through research, education and practice,"
said Nicholas School Dean William L. Chameides.
Once completed, the hall will help accommodate the school's
growing student population and the need for additional classroom, computer
space and common areas. From 2007 to 2011, student matriculation into the
school's two-year master of environmental management and master of forestry
programs rose more than 50 percent. The increases in students and faculty have
dictated that some Nicholas School offices be moved to the North Building until
Environment Hall can be built.
The new building will be attached by a walkway to the LSRC,
which will allow the school to bring together all elements of its Durham
campus-based program under one roof. The school’s Earth and Ocean Sciences
Division offices and labs currently are housed in the Old Chemistry building on
campus. Plans call for renovating the LSRC A-wing to accommodate the division's
The Nicholas School also maintains undergraduate, graduate
and research programs at the Duke University Marine Lab on the coast in
Construction of Duke's first large-scale water reclamation
pond will occur between Erwin Road and Circuit Drive near Towerview Road.
The initiative is a significant sustainable step, given that
Duke is the largest water customer in Durham and the project will save
approximately 100 million gallons of potable water a year, said Tallman Trask
III, Duke's executive vice president.
"In the years following this area's historic drought, Duke
has continued to innovate and find ways to conserve a precious resource," Trask
Construction on the $9 million reclamation pond is scheduled
to begin in spring 2013 and will take about a year to complete. The pond will
sit on a tree-filled, 12-acre site that, when complete, will include amenities
such as a pavilion, bridge, boardwalk, walking paths and amphitheater with lawn
The site earmarked for the pond is now wooded with a shallow
streambed. Duke will work with state and federal agencies on permits, and its
project managers have been consulting with the Duke University Wetland Center
to select native plants that thrive at varying pond depths under dry and wet
Once operational, the pond will collect rainwater and runoff
from 22 percent of the main campus area. At standing capacity, the pond will
hold about 23 million gallons of water at an 8- to 12-foot depth.
In other business, the trustees approved a 3.9 percent
increase in the total cost of attendance (undergraduate tuition, room and
board) at Duke for the 2012-13 academic year.
Undergraduate tuition will be $42,308, a 4 percent increase, and the
total cost for the next academic year, including tuition, room, board and fees,
will be $56,056.
Duke has a longstanding commitment to a need-blind
admissions policy, under which the university accepts students without regard
to their ability to pay for college and then meets 100 percent of their
demonstrated financial need. More than half of all Duke students receive some
form of financial assistance from the university: 40 percent receive need-based financial aid,
which includes grants, loans and work-study opportunities, and the remainder
are beneficiaries of honors, athletics and other scholarship programs.
In the current year, Duke expects to spend about $120.5
million of institutional funds to support undergraduate financial aid, a 10
percent increase from the previous year, and a 21 percent increase from 2009-2010.
Estimates for next year's financial aid costs will not be finalized until later
in the year when financial aid packages for new and returning students are
New tuition rates for Duke's graduate and professional
schools in 2012-13 have also been set:
-- Divinity School: $19,120, up 3.9 percent over the current
-- Fuqua School of Business: $52,900 (daytime MBA), up 5.2
-- Graduate School: $42,350 (Ph.D. programs), up 4 percent.
-- Law School: $50,750, up 4 percent.
-- Nicholas School of the Environment: $30,700, up 3
-- Pratt School of Engineering: $42,480 (MEM program), up
-- Sanford School of Public Policy: $37,900, up 3.6 percent.
-- School of Medicine: $48,065, up 3.9 percent.
-- School of Nursing: $36,666, up 4.9 percent.