McKeown Center highlights summer upgrades on SJU campus

August 12, 2009

The first expected LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building on the Saint John’s University campus will open shortly.

The McKeown Center – set to be dedicated Sept. 12 – was designed and built to promote sustainability.

The center highlights what has been a building surge on the SJU campus this spring and summer. Campus projects include two new buildings, and the renovation of three campus landmarks.

The McKeown Center is the community center for Flynntown – the lower campus of SJU. It includes a kitchen, dining area, lounge area, study rooms, a computer lab, laundry facilities, outdoor patio and a recreational area.

The building has a sustainable design, in keeping with SJU’s commitment to sustainability efforts. It is designed to the LEED-Silver standard.

  • Materials from construction will be redirected for reuse or will be recycled. There will also be recycling bins in the building;
  • In an effort to reduce demand for maintenance and reduce runoff from the site, landscaping will include a no-mow fescue, a rain garden and pervious sidewalk pavers;
  • Many local materials were used to reduce travel distance from the manufacturer. Also, in an effort to reduce future landfill waste, materials were chosen that are durable, serviceable over time and renewable;
  • To reduce energy usage, energy efficient lighting, heating and air conditioning systems have been installed, along with plumbing fixtures that will help reduce water consumption;
  • The building will be monitored in real time, and the data will be used by both SJU physical plant workers (to adjust performance) and environmental studies students, who will be modeling the building in comparison to other campus structures. Educational tours will also be available as well.  

The second new building on campus is the Flynntown Apartments, which will open in August. The three-story building includes 15 apartment units that will house 58 students. Each unit includes three or four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a living area.

The three renovation projects include:

  • A remodeled Refectory dining area in the Quadrangle Building. The redesigned dining service area will improve traffic flow and allow food to be prepared in front of the customer; promote healthy, fresh home-style service; equipment that allows menu offerings to be held and served at the proper temperatures; and creating a more inviting, relaxing and contemporary “Saint John’s feel” to the space. The area is expected to be completed Aug. 23, when new students report to campus for orientation.
  • A remodeled Clemens Stadium press box. The completed structure adds a third tier, with four suites and an expanded president’s box. The enlarged second floor will provide media workspace, booths for home and visiting coaches and radio booths. An elevator is being installed on the north end of the facility.  Paid for by private donors, the press box is expected to be ready for the Johnnies first home football game Sept. 12 against the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
  • Work on the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater roof and tuck pointing is ongoing. Roof work is expected to be completed in early October.