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In Residence: College Readies Lodges at Raystown Lake for New Students

(Posted June 19, 2006)

Contractors install the new student lodges at Raystown Lake.

They may look rustic on the outside, but the new residential student lodges at the Raystown Field Station are built to give Juniata environmental science students every educational and technological convenience while minimizing the environmental impact of living and working at the lake. Two new lodges, built to house students immersed in the Semester at the Lake program within the Department of Environmental Science, will be ready for students by August 15, when the College will begin a series of open house tours for its faculty and staff. One lodge was built through a $200,000 grant from Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, and the other was built using a $300,000 grant from the R.K. Mellon Foundation. \"These lodges are designed to be as comfortable as a home,\" says Chuck Yohn, co-director of the Raystown Field Station. The new lodges are set along the circling driveway, to the left of the main multipurpose building, Shuster Hall. Each lodge houses eight students, although one of the finished structures features a small apartment for a resident director. \"Eventually there will be six lodges out here, capable of housing more than 45 students,\" Yohn says. Each lodge, which uses the same rough-hewn cypress siding as Shuster Hall, is well-designed and quite spacious. The lower floor features two double rooms, as well as a main common living area and a small dining area. The upstairs has a kitchenette with a bathroom, a separate shower (to prevent bathroom/shower traffic tie-ups), a double room and two single rooms. Each lodge will feature a deck facing the lake. The furnishings for the lodges will be provided by a local company that provides furniture for Juniata and other residence halls. Many of the environmentally \"green\" features that certified Shuster Hall as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building are repeated on a smaller scale for the student lodges. Each lodge features a radiant-heat slab. In fact, the heat to warm each building is provided by the large boiler in Shuster Hall, a 98 percent-efficient pulse boiler that uses ethylene glycol, an environmentally safe fuel oil. Each lodge also is outfitted with energy-efficient windows designed to provide more natural light as well as promote natural heating. Students will not have to \"rough it\" in terms of technology. Fiber optic lines and other telecommunication lines have been installed, and wireless computer technology is available throughout the lodges and indeed, the entire Lakeside Center. The water for the two lodges will be recycled by a self-contained treatment plant made by Cromaglass. These small treatment plants are batch reactors, which treats water and organic and inorganic waste in a series of chambers within the plant\'s storage tank. The organic waste is stored as sludge and is periodically emptied. The treated water is not suitable as drinking water, but it is treated to the point where it is safe for discharge. In Juniata\'s case, the treatment plant will discharge its water into the central meadow in front of the Lakeside Center, using drip irrigation. Over time, students will be able to monitor all energy systems and natural resource emissions within each lodge, just as in Shuster Hall. Each lodge has been wired to accomodate environmental monitors and will become part of the building monitoring network as funds allow. In addition to the \"House Beautiful\" quality lodges, Yohn says preparations will begin in the fall to start building a recreation and beach area that will include a volleyball court, a barbecue area and picnic tables. Students will be allowed to take their cars to the Lakeside Center, although there will be a van available to transport students back to campus for lectures, Artist Series or other special events.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.