Pine Lake Expands Technology, Residential Space

March 24, 2010

The recent expansion of wireless Internet service to the entire Pine Lake Environmental Campus marks one of many changes there in recent months. These improvements are beneficial for residents, faculty, and staff, as well as students from the main campus. Additional meetings, workshops, and retreats can now be held at Pine Lake while maintaining the ease of technology available to all.

“The wireless system and other changes we’re making at Pine Lake exemplify the fact that we can live sustainably, with less impact on the planet, while still enjoying the conveniences of contemporary society,” said Brian Hagenbuch, Director of the Pine Lake Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

“Pine Lake is Hartwick’s living and learning center that provides an alternative approach to college life for students,” he continued. “Our community provides classes, lectures, and research opportunities as well as a sculpture trail. Our students are entrepreneurs. I think they relish the opportunities we have.”

“This place definitely helps you learn to live independently,” said Alyssa Pearson ’12. “It’s very similar to apartment living. Pine Lake also compels you to learn how to create your own fun, and appreciate different kinds of people. Life here has been incredibly fulfilling.”

Another change is the impending completion of the Cob House, which is a sister to Pine Lake’s Strawbale House. Natural and local materials, including straw, mud, and wet clay, have been be used in its construction.

“Through a couple of very generous donations, we will be able to finish the Cob House with the essence with which it was envisioned,” Hagenbuch said. “We thought it was important to never fall short of the original design.”

The Cob House design began as part of a course entitled “Architecture of the Sacred” taught by Associate Professor of Religious Studies Sandy Huntington. Gerrit Gibbs and Peter Hussey are former students involved with the original building who stepped forward to complete the project as independent contractors. The Cob House will provide living space for two students during the academic year and will also be available for summer rental.

“The students really fulfilled the vision of the course. We encourage eco-design and building techniques. We give them a sense of ownership, enable them to become engaged as students, and then they take those lessons into the community and become leaders,” Hagenbuch added. “These are the model buildings that I think will become standard in the industry. To have actual student leaders, now alumni, finish the project really completes the story of the Cob House.”

“I have to express my appreciation for leadership and ideas from Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael G. Tannenbaum and College President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich," Hagenbuch said. “We wouldn’t have the resources available to us without advocates with vision and passion for Pine Lake. Their support bodes well for the future of Pine Lake and the campus.”

By Alicia Walstad '10

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three Year Bachelor’s Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030