After several years of pursuing a mission of increased sustainability, Middlesex Community College has made great strides – many of which were discussed yesterday at the College’s fourth annual Legislative Breakfast. The breakfast, which was attended by state legislators, local elected officials, and community and student leaders, featured a first look at MxCC’s new environmentally sustainable master campus design plan.
In general, the College focused on four areas for increased sustainability in its master plan: social, economic, environment, and academic. Dr. Anna Wasescha, MxCC president (pictured here with Connecticut State Senator Paul Doyle), discussed how the new campus design addresses these areas with increased efficiencies in campus operations and maintenance, new, “greener” academic buildings, improved open space use, new or improved walking and gathering places, and enhanced transportation efforts. The College also plans to migrate to the use of natural gas as a major step in reducing its carbon footprint and operating costs.
These changes are taking place amidst growing student enrollment at MxCC, which Dr. Wasescha tributes to the College’s emphasis on engaging students, adding faculty, and enhancing a sense of community. She also gave credit to the efforts of our legislative delegation that were successful last year in advocating for a new 69,000 square-foot building on the Middletown campus. All the publicity that the proposed new building received represents a strong vote of confidence in Middlesex Community College and a demonstration of the state’s willingness to invest in modernizing and expanding the campus.
Connecticut DEEP Deputy Commissioner Katie Dykes was a guest speaker at the event. She highlighted the state’s energy policy and legislative agenda, and its efforts to revamp the regulatory infrastructure, taxation and electric rates. She commented that many of the steps taking place at MxCC are in line with the ambitions of the DEEP, and that it serves as an example of how to leverage proven energy and environmental policies.
Connecticut State Senator Paul Doyle (D, 9th District) delivered the keynote speech, discussing many of the steps the state is taking to address emissions and environmental concerns. While the senator felt more could be done on the federal level, he thought Connecticut was taking a leadership role to address these concerns on a state level. He commended MxCC for its new master plan and the efforts the College was making to create a more sustainable and forward-thinking institution. Senator Doyle concluded his remarks with comments directed toward the students in the audience. He encouraged them to become actively involved in public life and to consider public service careers.
“We are so fortunate to have the tireless support of our elected officials,” Dr. Wasescha said. “Our constituents are their constituents. Together, we are working to build a vital democratic society, based on an energy-efficient economy in which citizens are fully engaged through their work and in their communities. That is why sustainability is so critical to us all, and certainly here on our college campus.”