Class of 2010 to donate 'green' roof

The senior class of 2010 has decided on the gift they will donate to Mercyhurst College. It will be a ‘green’ roof to be built over the ceramics lab in Zurn Hall.

“A green roof in its simplest form is a roof with vegetation growing on it,” Senior Gift chair Angela Long said.

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The green roof provides environmental and financial benefits.

It will reduce air pollution, absorb carbon dioxide and conserve energy. The green roof extends the life of a conventional roof by 15 years, Long said.

Maintenance already planned to replace the roof, and the green roof will go on top of it, Long said. Mercyhurst College President Tom Gamble has approved the project.

It will cost an additional $40,000 for the addition of the green roof, according to Joe Howard, director of alumni relations and annual giving.

The Green Energy Fund will cover $15,000 and the seniors hope to raise between $20-25,000 to cover the cost of the green roof.

The green roof will take five weeks to complete.

To come up with the Senior Gift idea, the Senior Gift committee conducted a survey for all seniors, Long said. Gift ideas on the survey included a student section at the football field and a media room for upperclassmen.

According to Long, none of the ideas on the survey received an overwhelming response from the seniors, so the committee came up with the idea of the green roof.

“This gift is as much a statement about the character of the Class of 2010 as it is a gift to the college,” Howard said. “As freshmen, these students voted in the Green Energy Fund. As seniors, they’re leaving a gift that extends that initiative.”

Long explained why the green roof was chosen.

“We wanted something that was feasible and something we could get support for,” Long said. “This year, we chose a gift that not only enhances Mercyhurst College, but enhances the world we live in.”

Long said the community will receive environmental benefits from the green roof, but students will also receive academic opportunities because it can be utilized by science majors and sustainability minors.

The green roof “celebrates Mercyhurst’s commitment to sustainability and global responsibility and provides educational opportunities for future students,” Howard said.

Long hopes the gift will help more students and communities in the future.

“Mercyhurst can become a pioneer to green initiatives,” Long said. “We can help other colleges start green initiatives.”