Scott Hall Brings Smart Green Architecture to NCS Campus

by Mariah Joyce (’12)

When one walks into Scott Hall, the newly completed addition to the NCS campus, a sign announces that there are only “5.6 Million to Go!” until enough money is raised to pay for the huge construction project NCS recently undertook. The renovation of Scott Hall was the first phase in this three step process. The construction cost $9.1 million, all of which NCS managed to raise.

Though the construction process was often very disruptive to the classes in the Woodley North building due to noise and pollution, the new high-tech building seems well worth the trouble. The carpets and walls are clean, the rooms refreshingly odor-free, and the entire building is well-lit and well-structured. However, for some people, the fact that the building seems so modern is actually a downside. “It’s too new,” said one NCS sophomore. “It looks out of place with the rest of the school.”

The building itself is not the only thing that is new: NCS has invested in SMART Boards for each of the new classrooms. Scott Hall also fits in with the recent spirit of going green at NCS, shown in such policies as Wasteless Wednesdays and Footprint Fridays. NCS’s most recent addition is equipped with a geothermal system of heating and cooling, a more environmentally friendly way to regulate the temperature of a building.

The geothermal system of temperature regulation consists of a series of pipes running from the building to beneath the ground, with water vapor constantly running throughout the pipes.  Because the temperature underground is almost constant, the earth will cool down the warmer air from the building as it circulates during the summer, and warm up the cooler air from the building in the winter.

Though this method of heating and cooling is cheaper, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly, it does have downsides. One such disadvantage is the fact that all of the windows in Scott Hall are painted shut, because having them open would upset the temperature regulation system. This is unpopular with both students and teachers.  One sophomore said that the fact that you could not open the windows “freaked [her] out a little.”

Surprisingly, the ambitious project was completed on schedule. NCS students were told that the newest addition would be completed by the time they came back from spring break.  Sure enough, students were greeted with a shiny new building on the Monday after Easter, and classes began moving into the new building almost immediately.

However, some classes, such as World Geography, never officially made the move to the new building. This was primarily due to a delay in the installation of SMART Boards and other technology necessary for effectively teaching the class. Overall, both students and teachers seem to be relatively happy, both with the timeliness with which the project was completed and the resulting building, which advances NCS even further towards its goals of both ‘Educating Women for the World’ and ‘going green’.

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