Press Release for Friday, April 27, 2012
UNF Featured in 2012 Guide to 322 Green Colleges by Princeton Review
Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director
Department of Public Relations
The University of North Florida is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review. The well-known education services company selected UNF for inclusion for the second consecutive year in the just-released Princeton Review's "2012 Guide to 322 Green Colleges"
Created by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, the "2012 Guide to 322 Green Colleges" is the only free, comprehensive guidebook profiling institutions of higher education that demonstrate a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation.
"College-bound students are increasingly interested in sustainability issues," said Robert Franek, senior vice president/publisher, The Princeton Review. "Among 7,445 college applicants who participated in our 2012 'College Hopes and Worries Survey,' 68 percent told us that having information about a school's commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply to or attend the school."
UNF joins the ranks of outstanding universities and colleges nationwide that are leading the "green" movement through its own special programs and initiatives.With a nature preserve located in the middle campus, it comes as no surprise that UNF is a green leader. A 382-acre natural area on campus was designated a preserve in May 2006 by UNF President John Delaney. The state-protected area features miles of nature trails as well as numerous lakes and ponds with an abundance of wildlife. The preserve offers students the opportunity to participate in plenty of experiential learning programs.
The University has received recognition for its green building practices, and 100 percent of new construction on campus is either LEED-certified or pursuing certification. UNF's sustainability research takes a multidisciplinary approach. Projects include publishing a State of the River Report for the Lower St. Johns River Basin, presenting status and trends in water quality, fisheries, aquatic life and contaminants; a storm water management and water-quality monitoring project; a hurricane damage assessment and recovery research team that evaluates techniques for sustainable construction; and assessment of the health of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems on campus.
The Princeton Review chose the 322 schools based on a survey it conducted in 2011 of hundreds of colleges across the U.S. and in Canada to tally its annual "Green Rating" scores (scaled from 60 to 99) of colleges for its school profiles in its college guidebooks and website. The survey asks administrators more than 50 questions about their institution's sustainability-related policies, practices and programs. The Company tallied Green Ratings for 768 institutions in summer 2011. The 322 schools in the guide received scores of 83or above in that assessment. The Princeton Review doesn't rank the schools in this guide hierarchically (1 to 322) according to their Green Rating scores, nor does it include those scores in the book's school profiles.
This latest recognition comes on the heels of UNF receiving 12 other national designations, including Kiplinger's Personal Finance's List of 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2011-12; No. 19 Best Buy College, Best College in America and Best College in the South, all by Forbes Magazine; 2012 Best Value Public College, Best College in the Southeast, 2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll,2011 Best Value Public College and a top "Green" College by Princeton Review; Best Regional University by U.S. News & World Report,Military Friendly School and among the100 "Coolest Schools" by Sierra magazine.
The Princeton Review first created this one-of-a-kind resource for college-bound students in 2010 with the U.S. Green Building Council, which is best known for developing the LEED standard for green building certification. "A green campus can transform the college experience for students through enhanced sustainability education and by creating healthy living and learning environments all while saving energy, water and money as part of an institution's bottom line," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC.
The Princeton Review has been a pioneer and leader in helping students achieve their higher education goals for more than 28 years through college and graduate school test preparation and private tutoring. With more than 165 print and digital publications and a free website, www.PrincetonReview.com, the Company provides students and their parents with the resources to research, apply to, prepare for and learn how to pay for higher education.
The University of North Florida's Student Union has been recognized by the Florida Chapter of The American Institute of Architects (AIA Florida) as the best educational building and voted the top building in the state by architects' votes. UNF's Student Union was also voted by the public as the No. 4 building overall in the state and is the only local building in the top five.
"We're thrilled to have been voted as the No. 1 educational facility in Florida and to be selected as the top pick by architects," said Zak Ovadia, director of UNF Campus Planning, Design and Construction. "It's also an honor to be among the buildings recognized by AIA as the top 100 buildings that have beneficially added to the unique architectural fabric of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida."
In March, AIA Florida launched the Top 100 Buildings statewide online competition, inviting the public to vote for their favorite Florida building. This year marks the 100th anniversary of AIA Florida, recognizing the important contributions architects have made in the Sunshine State. The competition identified 100 structures across the state that represents the best in architectural achievement. The public was encouraged to vote online and more than 2.4 million votes were cast overall.
Designed by Rink Design Partnership Inc., the 150,000-square-foot Student Union was completed in 2009. The $40.1 million facility was programmed to be the focal points for student activities and programs, dining facilities and offices for Student Government as well as the Division of Student and International Affairs.
The Student Union is in two parts separated by a student plaza, called Osprey Plaza, with a sunshade feature, which along with the curvature of the
building, creates a most distinctive visual effect. Both buildings are three stories and are comprised of a steel structure with brick and metal cladding.
The east building is mostly administrative and houses all Student Government functions, Student and International Affairs offices, a bank, a Starbucks and snack store, the game room and studios for Osprey Radio and Osprey TV. The west building contains a food court with five fast-food outlets on the main floor, the UNF Bookstore (two stories), the Boathouse restaurant and various meeting rooms on the second level, four ballrooms on the third level along with numerous student lounges and meeting rooms of various capacities.
One of the most unique elements of the Student Union is a 108,000-square-foot grass amphitheater with a permanent stage. Located behind the west building, the Coxwell Amphitheater, which can seat 6,000 spectators, is constructed with a nine-degree elevation for optimum viewing by crowds attending concerts, performances, fairs and other events.
The Student Union follows the University's other new buildings on campus as a certified "green" building, meaning it uses energy-saving measures, recycled materials and natural light to improve the work environment.
The Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects, headquartered in Tallahassee, represents the interests of more than 3,600 members in Florida and the Caribbean. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public and colleagues of an AIA-member architect's dedication to the highest standards in professional practice.