WINONA, MN (WXOW)—Winona State University is encouraging students to think green by spending the summer turning a home, on E. Main Street, formerly used as office space, into a dormitory.
As a student with a more than full course load and double major at Winona State, Tom Gorycki is looking forward to his next challenge sharing one house with ten other students.
"This is my room," Gorycki said. "I have no idea how I'll set it up yet. I think I'll see how the bed fits then I'll decide."
For the next year, not only will the students live together, but they've pledged to be sustainable.
"This is something that will give us an idea what we would like to see in our houses, what we can do," Gorycki said.
"Students have made a commitment to take each other at whatever level or what ever place they're at and work together to do the best they can in a way that they challenge each other appropriately," Paula Scheevel, Director of Housing and Residential Life said.
The home is designed to be green with finishes made out of recycled material, solar light tubes to bring daylight into the bathrooms and eight solar panels on the roof.
"The solar panels are pretty cool," Gorycki said. "I don't think anything else in the area has that and not a lot of colleges have that."
"Each week as a group they're going to challenge themselves to try something different, not showering every day or not using water for a day," Scheevel said.
Gorycki's excited about the new chores he'll be learning with his roommates.
"Monitoring the ins and out of the house, electricity consumption, water consumption, meeting with facilities, researching bringing organic/locally grown food into the house," Gorycki said.
He's hoping the next year will help him be green for life; and WSU is hoping students will have a positive influence on the community.
WSU is paying for the renovations with leftover funds from the revenue bond they received for the dorm construction project in 2010.
This fall they're holding another open house for the community to see what they can do to be green in their own homes.
The sustainability house still has a room available for two WSU students. For more information on how to apply call the residential life office at 507-457-5305.
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