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SUNY ESF students finding new uses for old buildings

While work goes on at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse University’s new law school building is also under construction and SUNY ESF is adding to its campus.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - While work goes on at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse University’s new law school building is also under construction and SUNY ESF is adding to its campus.

SUNY ESF is planning a new academic building with state of the art labs, but 11 houses are in between the school and their new goal.

To that end, the school is turning the operation into a learning opportunity.

SUNY ESF is committed to taking apart the houses that date from the 1920s and 1930s and using the materials rather than tossing them in a dumpster.

"Just the possibilities to do with these recycled materials and especially the opportunity that the ReStore with Habitat for Humanity offers, definitely a learning experience throughout and that's one of the unique parts of ESF, we can turn anything into a green learning experience,” said SUNY ESF senior Dylan Sorensen, a member of the Deconstruction Planning Team.

The project has salvaged about 50 percent of the material from the houses.

"The materials that were used back then, there were a lot of vintage heat register covers and things that have some architectural value, some leaded glass windows, things like that you just wouldn't find in new construction today,” said Pail Crovella of sustainable construction management at SUNY ESF.

Some of the materials the school has salvaged include maple and oak floors that will be stripped down and repurposed for new hardwood floors.

"We're not the only ones taking down houses and all of these people scratch their heads when they see the amount of material that goes to the landfill and ask themselves isn't there a better way, so I think by really drilling down into the way ESF did, with a project like this, we're providing an example for all of those owners to look to next time around,” Crovella said.

The school says it’s trying to live up to its motto: improve your world.

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