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UNB breaks ground on greener student housing

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WATCH: Construction is underway on the University of New Brunswick Saint John campus, where a new residence is going up. Travis Fortnum reports. – Nov 8, 2019

The University of New Brunswick’s Saint John campus will hold the school’s first residence building to utilize geothermal heating and cooling.

“Geothermal is basically our effort as a university to continue to look at sustainability,” says director of facility management Kevin Simpson, “and how do we better serve ourselves moving forward from a utility perspective.”

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held on Friday morning, though construction has already begun in hopes of having the building ready for September.

READ MORE: Lack of parking at UNB leaves students scrambling

UNB Saint John is seeing steady growth when it comes to its student population, filling up existing on-campus housing.

“There was always an interest in having another residence,” says Petra Hauf, UNB Saint John vice-president, “because our residence here are 100 per cent occupied since five years now, and there are waiting lists every year.”

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And with environmentalism top-of-mind among younger generations, student reception has been positive.

“I think it is a really big thing for students,” says Patrick Hickey, President of the UNB Student Representative Council.

“We see that, for young people, climate change and the environment are major priorities and I think that it does show a good commitment that they’re prioritizing this.”

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