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Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies

Rear  view  of the Kirsch CenterThe state-of-the-art Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies was completed in summer 2005 and opened in fall quarter 2005. The center is the home of the Biological, Health and Environmental Sciences Division. Our biology and environmental studies students were treated to classes in the new buildings. This climate-responsive, energy efficient, multi-purpose building is an outstanding example of a sustainable "green" building. Highlights of the center include a solar plaza, environmental study area, pollution prevention lab, Statewide Energy Management Program (SEMP) lab, biodiversity lab, Geographic Information System (GIS) lab and indoor and outdoor spaces to facilitate individual and group learning. This environmentally sophisticated building will use solar heating, natural ventilation and many other innovations to reduce its energy usage and increase its appeal as a teaching venue.

The Kirsch Center comprises of two floors. On the first floor there is a biodiversity lab, a biodiversity outdoor classroom, an energy exhibit hall, a small group learning space, a 90-seat lecture classroom and two 45-seat lecture classrooms. On the second floor there is an energy management lab, various study/tutorial areas, a second small group learning space, a resource center, an astronomy observation lab, the division and faculty offices and conference rooms.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Kirsch Center was held in January 2004, which was attended by Steven and Michele Kirsch of the Kirsch Foundation, after whom the center was named. The project budget was $11 million, which included a $2 million donation from the Kirsch Foundation.

The Kirsch Center is located at the south end of the campus next to the Cheeseman Environmental Study Area and Parking Lot D. Facilities at the Kirsch Center will be available for rental by civic, professional and business groups.

Visit the Kirsch Center Web site to find out more information.

The Kirsch Center was one in a group of construction projects on campus, which include the Science Center, the Student & Community Services Center, and the Parking Structure.