McKeown Community Center

McKeown Community Center, 2009 (click thumbnails for larger image)

Architect:  Rafferty Rafferty Tollefson Lindecke

Contractor:  Donlar Construction

Date: 2009


From a press release, "McKeown Center highlights summer upgrades on SJU campus," dated August 13, 2009: 

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.

Tom McKeown attended Saint John’s Prep School and graduated from Saint John’s University in 1952. He worked at Saint John's from 1955 to 1960 as director of university relations and was the first lay person to have that title. McKeown was a member of the Board of Regents and served as its chair from 1987 to 1992. He was also president of the Saint John’s Alumni Board. He was the 1993 recipient of the prestigious Fr. Walter Reger Distinguished Alumnus Award. He also served on the Board of Overseers of both the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library and Saint John’s School of Theology•Seminary.


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