Saint Martin’s community gathers to break ground on new ‘green’ building
July 19, 2011
LACEY, WASHINGTON — Saint Martin’s University officially
broke ground this afternoon on a three-story, 25,000-square-foot
facility to house the University’s School of Engineering. A
group of more than 220 guests gathered on the Lacey campus to
celebrate the kick-off of construction for the new building.
The University plans to seek Platinum certification within the
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green
Building Rating System, the highest ranking available. The
certification, granted by the U.S. Green Building Council,
reflects commitment to sustainability, water efficiency, energy
usage, materials and air quality. Key energy features in Saint
Martin’s new engineering building will include a solar array
system, radiant flooring, optimized energy utilization, a heat
recovery system, a green roof, and an underground geo-thermal
loop for heating, ventilation and cooling.
According to Zella Kahn-Jetter, Ph.D., P.E., dean of the School
of Engineering, University leaders believe Saint Martin’s
engineering students and graduates play a significant role in
the development and pursuit of environmentally responsible
systems, habitats, tools and lifestyles.
“The decision to pursue Platinum LEED certification is in
keeping with the Benedictine value of stewardship,”
Kahn-Jetter explained at the groundbreaking. “It is our
responsibility to be respectful and resourceful in our
commitment to protecting the environment and appreciate the
beauty of our natural surroundings.”
At the ceremony, it was announced that the new facility will
inherit the name of the existing engineering building, Cebula
Hall. Named for Fr. Richard Cebula, O.S.B., the Benedictine
priest who laid the foundation for Saint Martin’s School of
Engineering six decades ago, the “new” Cebula Hall will honor
the institution’s rich tradition of engineering education. Saint
Martin’s supporters, particularly engineering alumni, credit
Fr. Cebula for envisioning — then successfully building — a
program designed to cultivate skilled, forward-thinking and
ethical engineers eager to contribute to their communities.
The new building will provide more than double the useable
square footage of the current Cebula Hall. Offering innovative
classroom and laboratory spaces, Cebula Hall will be a showcase
for the application of engineering science, not only for Saint
Martin’s students but also for practicing engineers in the South
“This building isn’t only for those of us here at Saint Martin’s
University,” said Kahn-Jetter. “It is for the entire community.
We want to share our home with our neighbors. This will really
be something special for all of us.”
State-of-the-art features and systems will set the stage for
enhanced cross-discipline, collaborative and community learning.
Structural and mechanical components of the building will be
exposed, and solar panels will be accessible via rooftop studios
— allowing students and visitors to observe firsthand critical
concepts and theories at work.
The construction of the new Cebula Hall is part of Saint
Engineering Initiative, launched in February 2011 to attract
new students and further enhance the school’s world-class
reputation. As part of the Initiative, the University set a goal
of raising $7 million to construct the new building. At present,
Saint Martin’s is nearing the $6 million mark.
Saint Martin’s University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.,
praised the efforts of supporters and past leaders who have
helped build a foundation for the University’s recent progress.
“Still,” Heynderickx reminded the crowd, “we have much more work
The new facility will be built on the northwest section of
campus, west of O'Grady Library and north of Kreielsheimer Hall.
Its construction will complete an academic quadrangle, or
“quad,” on campus, creating a much-anticipated community space
for students, staff, faculty and visitors.
The Saint Martin’s School of Engineering is the only
baccalaureate and graduate degree-granting engineering program
in the South Sound. Since its inception, the school has
graduated more than 1,300 students in mechanical and civil
The design and construction team for the new building includes:
McGranahan Architects; Berschauer Phillips Construction Company;
Shea, Carr & Jewell, Inc.; PCS Structural Solutions; and Sunset
Air. To follow the progress of the construction of Cebula Hall,
For more information:
Assistant vice president of institutional advancement
Vice president of marketing and communications