Hartwick student employees, from left, Jaclyn Hall, Jen Lonergan, and Seth Lucas, read portfolios in the new Kroeger Lounge in Golisano Hall on the college’s campus Monday. Star photo by Brit Worgan

Oneonta _ A brighter, greener chapter at Hartwick College started Monday with the completion of construction at Golisano Hall.

The faculty started moving into the building shortly after a brief ceremony. It will be used for classes in August with a formal dedication ceremony in October.

The three-story, 36,000-square-foot building was completed on time and under budget, said Hartwick President Richard P. Miller Jr.

Businessman Tom Golisano provided the $5 million seed money to get the project under way in 2004. Support for the $12.6 million project came from a variety of sources including 60 donors who contributed $10,000 or more at the leadership level, said Seth Haight, vice president for institutional advancement.

"Forty percent of our students will use the building every day," Miller said. "It will have a huge impact."

Two seniors who will be using the building said the work was "beautiful."

Jen Lonergan, 20, of Plattsburgh, said there are a lot of "nooks and crannies" and places to study. "I don't know if you are going to get me to leave."

Jaclyn Hall of Wyckoff, N.J., said, "It's beyond my expectations."

This building was planned from the inside out, Miller said. "We wanted it to look like a Hartwick building' _ we didn't want an architectural statement."

Instead, it was designed based on programs, he said. This included lots of break-out rooms and open spaces for students to gather. The architectural firm of Burt Hill of Cleveland, Ohio, was chosen because of its experience in building classrooms, Miller said. Construction was done by Le Chase Construction Services L.L.C. of Schenectady.

Built in what was a parking lot next to Arnold Hall, it will house a number of departments, including accounting, economics and business administration. It will also bring together such programs as internships, career services and study abroad that underscore Hartwick's emphasis on connecting the classroom to the world, Miller said.

With four weeks to go before Miller retires, this was a good way to end his tenure, he said.

"It brings the quality of our academic facility to first-class status," Miller said. With the new science building nearby and Clark Hall, "I can't think of any institution that has better facilities," he said.

The Green Building Council's leadership in energy and environmental design checklist was utilized to create an environmentally friendly facility, according to a news release. This includes promoting energy efficiency through features such as making full use of sunlight.

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