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Environmental Innovation at Providence

A series of three releases by Thomas Kaethler - Part 1


Last semester, a student said, “I love the renovations at the school.” Providence is moving forward with many changes to the campus. The new concession stand and ‘Soccer Lounge’ by the gym will add to the atmosphere at sporting events. The Student Life Centre (SLC) has already given students a much needed area to study, hang out and eat in the spacious cafeteria. A lot of the physical changes underway on the Providence campus have some fairly significant environmental implications as well. This environmental focus is a fascinating ethical- and business-minded development at this Christian Liberal Arts college.

The space heating in the SLC uses a ground source heat pump (aka geothermal energy) which extracts heat from under the nearby parking lot during the winter to heat the building and deposits heat in the summer as it cools the same building. The barn between the Hannah building and Bergen will soon be home to a new biomass furnace that will further contribute to Providence’s environmental sustainability. A tower next to the soccer fields is testing whether it is windy enough in our field to build a wind turbine in the future, and the list of projects goes on.

Earth-keeping at Providence so far has not received a lot of notice. A chapel and a workshop have addressed the issues of climate change and sustainability, but many students are otherwise unaware of any serious environmental initiatives at the school. Daniel Lepp Friesen and Bruce Duggan are two influential movers in Providence’s recent environmental leaps.


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