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Pomona College Wins Claremont's First Gold Award for Green-Friendly Buildings

Pomona College has won gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program for the design and construction of its Lincoln and Edmunds Buildings. Pomona College earned its first LEED certification, a silver, for the Richard C. Seaver Biology Building which opened in 2005.

For Pomona College President David Oxtoby, “The gold award is fantastic. It’s wonderful recognition of Pomona’s commitment to be better citizens and to do what we can to reduce Pomona’s environmental footprint.”

The adjacent Lincoln and Edmunds Buildings span a combined 92,000 square feet at the northern end of campus and opened in January 2007. Their green-friendly features include: a photovoltaic system, which can provide up to 22.4% of the building’s power; operable windows; waterless urinals; high efficiency lighting; and efficient irrigation for landscaping. Construction involved the elimination of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) and halon refrigerants as well as the use of recycled materials and rapidly renewable materials, such as bamboo flooring used in parts of the buildings.

The buildings, which cost $40 million, were designed by the firm DMJM Design in Los Angeles and built by Hathaway Dinwiddie. They provide innovative research space and teaching facilities for Computer Science, Environmental Analysis, Linguistics and Cognitive Science, Geology, Neuroscience, Psychology, and three intercollegiate departments—Asian American Studies, Black Studies and Chicano/a Studies. The clustering of disciplines related to the science of the mind is intended to create synergies and facilitate collaboration.

Among the building’s more unique features are a Saliva Room for collecting samples, floor-to-ceiling dry-erase wall boards in the Computer Science area, an audiometric testing room, an Eye-Tracker Lab, and the vibrant mural “The Struggle for a Home” by Paul Botello located in the Intercollegiate Department of Chicano/a Studies. The buildings’ Draper Courtyard is home to the Skyspace “Dividing the Light,” by internationally renowned artist James Turrell, who works in the perceptual effects of light and space and is a 1965 graduate of Pomona.

Lillian Lincoln Howell ’43, of Hillsborough, Calif., made the Lincoln and Edmunds Buildings possible through a $10 million gift, the largest single gift from a living donor ever received by the College. The naming of the Lincoln Building honors Howell’s family, including her father, John C. Lincoln, who founded the Lincoln Electric Company of Cleveland, Ohio, and her son, Lincoln C. Howell. The Edmunds Building is named in honor of Charles K. Edmunds, the fifth president of Pomona College, to whom Howell has said she owes a special debt of gratitude for his support during her first years at Pomona.