The Elorriaga Center for Science and Mathematics

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Courtesy of Google Images

By: Siobhan Salzman

The official ground breaking for the Gold LEED certified Elorriaga Center for Science and mathematics was on 10 June 2010 and was dedicated and blessed on 4 April 2011 by Archbishop Vlazny.
The Elorriaga Center for Science and Mathematics was built to replace the small, 50 year old outdated science classrooms. Henry Fitzgibbon ’72, partner with Soderstrom Architects, designed the 17,821 sq. ft. building.
When John and Lois Elorriaga met with President John Gladstone in ’09, they expressed a desire to help Jesuit meet their growing need for a state of the art educational facility. The previous science classrooms were located where the Dieringer administrative offices currently stand.
At the dedication, John Gladstone talked about the importance of the Elorriaga’s lead seven-figure gift to the building.
“Johnnie [his grandson ’07] said we need it and Lois and I said we wanted to do it.” said John Elorriaga. “It’s permanent and will be there for our grandchildren and youth in the community.”
In addition to the first gift from the Elorriagas, support from many parents, Alumni, grandparents, friends, foundations, and cooperation’s helped Jesuit High School reach 100% of the project funding goal. Jesuit received five major gifts ranging from $200,000- $500,000 from the following donors: Mary Clark, Mike ’68 and Tracey Clark, Jeff and Sandy Jones, the Brooke family (in memory of John Brooke ’84), Greg and Roxanne Specht, and The MJ Murdock Charitable Trust.
Despite the economic downturn of ’08, our generous community came together and raised $5.7 million to make the Elorriaga Center for Science and Mathematics a reality.
“Jesuit High School will be forever grateful to the Elorriaga family for their leadership, financial resources, and commitment to our community,” said Diane Salzman, Interim Vice President for Development.
The LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Rating System is a certification program created by the US Green Building Council in 1993. It is the industry standard for rating high-performance green buildings. LEED consists of four levels of certification in listed order of lowest to highest, silver, gold, & platinum. They are ranked by how many benefits such as water, energy, and material conservation it provides for the certified building.

Since the Elorriaga Center for Science and Mathematics is Gold LEED certified and not Platinum LEED certified it does not have an air conditioning system.
“The cooling system in the building is passive which means it cools the building with cool air at night and the concrete slab on the roof absorbs heat and keeps it from radiating in throughout the day.” said Mr. Schaal, biology teacher in the Elorriaga Center.
Overall the building is equip with low-flow fixtures and water conserving plumbing result in 30% less water used in the building, Variable Air Volume (VAV) Units control the amount of fresh air and heat delivered to each room, Night Air Flush, at night air within the building is replaced with cooler outside air from vents built into second floor cabinetry. Concrete Thermal Masses, explained by Mr. Schaal above, are large concrete slabs that were added to the ceilings to help maintain a constant temperature in the building, Solar panels were installed on roof to help offset energy used by the building, Solar-Rated Windows were installed to balance heating in the cooler months, block solar heating in the warmer months, and provides abundant lighting, A combination of high efficiency compact fluorescent, LED, or F32T8 lamps significantly reduce the amount of power used for lighting. The Building is an Environmentally Friendly Building for Materials and 20% of the materials used for construction were extracted, harvested, or recovered within 500 miles of the school. At least 50% of the wood-based material and products are certified with the Forest Stewardship Council’s principles and criteria for wood building components, which encourages environmentally responsible forest management.
The average expected pay off for commercially used solar panels is 17 1/2 years and the lifespan of them is 25 years, the Initial dilemma for getting solar panels was the excess cost and questionable benefits in a short period of time. Jesuit will make profit within the last 8 years of the solar panel’s lifespan.
During the summer the building generates more energy which is recorded as a credit. The credit for summer ’13 was $376.39 and in ’14 it was $186.95. In the fall and winter the building generates less energy which is recorded as a charge. For ’13 the charge in the fall was $312.38. For ’14 the charge in fall was $387.08 and winter was $786.21. In winter ’15 the charge was $685.73.
The consumption of natural gases, electricity, and solar production are tracked on a weekly, monthly, and day to day graph located on the Jesuit website.