The Anna Fascitelli Fitness and Wellness Center recently became the eighth building at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, Rhode Island, to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“By striving to achieve the highest LEED certifications, we show our community, and particularly our environmental and oceanographic programs, that the University wants to be part of the environmental solution and to be a role model for other institutions around the country,” said Vernon Wyman, the university’s assistant vice president for business services, in an issued statement.

The 33,000-square-foot Fascitelli center earned a Gold certification, the second-highest offered by the Green Building Council. The center was formerly a dining hall before the university embarked on an $11 million renovation project that, in 2013, transformed the building into a rec center.

“The goal of the project was to promote the health and well-being of students in a safe, high-tech and inviting spa-like setting,” university representatives said in a press release.

University developers collaborated with Providence, Rhode Island-based KITE Architects and Boston-based S3 Design to complete the facility overhaul. The Fascitelli center’s design honored many aspects of the original structure, which had previously received a national architectural award, according to the university’s press release. Major changes included an interior gutting, emphasizing the building’s high ceilings and outside views.

The Green Building Council recognized the center for its use of sustainable bamboo flooring, rubber flooring made from recycled materials and hydration stations aimed at reducing the use of disposable bottles.

The center is named after the mother of 1978 graduate Michael Fascitelli, who donated $1 million to the renovation project.

Residence building Hillside Hall also earned a Gold LEED certification, according to the release, becoming the only college residence hall in Rhode Island to do so. Other university buildings to receive LEED certifications are: Eddy, Garrahy and Wiley residence halls, Certified; Hope Dining Commons, Silver; Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, Gold; and the Pell Library and Ocean Science and Exploration Center, Silver.

“LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, chief executive officer and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council, in the university's release. “The urgency of USGBC’s missions has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and URI serves as a prime example of just how much we can accomplish.”

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