In ceremonies including the Board of Trustees, Saint Michael's College will dedicate the $2 million Antonio and Rita Pomerleau Alumni Center on Saturday, Oct. 3, at 12:30 p.m. in the new center, located on Route 15, but entered from Lime Kiln Road, in Colchester. The multi-use building is the first deliberately environmentally friendly, 21st Century structure on the Saint Michael’s campus. Made possible through the generosity of The Tony B. and Rita M. Pomerleau Foundation and over 1,000 alumni contributions, the Alumni Center is a multi-use facility housing alumni and development offices and public meeting spaces.
“This building will be a tangible way to keep our alumni close to the college,” said President John J. Neuhauser.
The building will house a reception room devoted to the former Trinity College, founded by the Sisters of Mercy, to provide a meeting place for alumnae of that college, and to symbolize the historic connection between the two colleges.
Mr. Pomerleau, 91, a Burlington real estate developer well known for his generosity in Vermont, served on the Saint Michael’s College Board of Trustees in the 1970s, and was awarded an honorary Saint Michael’s doctoral degree in 1994. Two of his sons and a granddaughter graduated from the college, and his son Ernie Pomerleau, SMC class of 1969, currently serves on the college’s Board of Trustees. Tony Pomerleau expressed appreciation for what Saint Michael’s gave his children, and for the college’s commitment to higher education in the Catholic tradition.
“St. Mike’s is a great college, and they’re doing a great job,” Mr. Pomerleau said to a student reporter for The Defender, Saint Michael’s student newspaper. “I figured I’ll help.”
College architect James P. Farrington, AIA, associate director of facilities/college architect, was the principal designer of the Pomerleau Center. “I’m very excited,” he said, about the energy efficiency of the building and the Greek Revival design for the structure.
The brick building is connected to and has proportions and details similar to Prevel Hall. It is set back from Route 15, between the President’s Residence and the Holcomb Observatory. The 6,500-square-foot structure contains five first floor offices, The Trinity Conference Room, and six upstairs offices. A nicely proportioned function room provides space for dinners, socials, alumni board meetings, and other gatherings, and a handsome fireplace room provides a kind of living room for the building.
The College’s First LEED “Green” Building
The major thrust of the building, as determined by President Neuhauser, is that it be environmentally friendly, as advanced as technology will allow, and certified as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ) building. The plan incorporates recycled lumber, water conservation structures, regionally available materials, and other features that can give LEED points.
The building envelop is “super air tight with high R value,” Architect Farrington said. Every office has a large insulated glass window to provide good day-time lighting, less use of electric lighting, and little heat loss.
Wiemann Lamphere Architects of Colchester, Vt., worked with Farrington to complete construction documents. Pizzagalli Construction of Vermont built the Pomerleau Alumni Center. The team is working on final details for securing LEED certification.
“Making this building truly green, points the way to whatever else we might do in the 21st century,” President Neuhauser said.
At Saint Michael’s College, www.smcvt.edu, Learn What Matters. Saint Michael’s is a distinctive Catholic liberal arts college that provides education with a social conscience, producing graduates with the intellectual tools to lead a successful, purposeful life that will contribute to peace and justice in our world. Founded in 1904 by the Society of St. Edmund and headed by President John J. Neuhauser, Saint Michael’s is identified by the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s Best 371 Colleges. It is one of 270 colleges and universities nationwide, and one of only 20 Catholic colleges, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Saint Michael’s has 1,900 undergraduate students, some 500 graduate students and 100 international students. Saint Michael’s students and professors have received Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Pickering, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other grants. The college is one of the nation’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges as listed in the 2009 U.S. News & World Report rankings. Saint Michael’s is located just outside Burlington, Vermont, one of America’s top college towns.