Yesterday, the Greenway Institute moved into Noble Hall in Vermont’s capital, Montpelier. Members of the Greenway Institute rolled up their sleeves and began preparing Noble Hall as a space for learning and innovation. This space will host the Greenway Center for Equity and Sustainability (GCES), the sustainable engineering program we are partnering with Elizabethtown College’s School of Engineering and Computer Science to bring to Montpelier.
This move-in is happening at a unique moment in Montpelier’s history. Earlier in July, Montpelier’s downtown was devastated by flooding caused by heavy rains. Towns like Montpelier have become case studies in the need for the work we do: engineering for our sustainable future. Many of us are asking questions about sustainability and equity: how do we rebuild in a way that prevents a similar tragedy from happening again? How do we make sure all communities and all people are protected? What does a more sustainable and equitable future look like in Montpelier and beyond? These are all questions that we look forward to digging into with our students.
Over the next few weeks, we will be preparing to welcome the first cohort of Semester Away students. They will be coming to GCES to experience our novel, project-based, lecture-free engineering education, with a focus on sustainability and equity work championed by Vermont businesses and local governments. We look forward to opening our doors to them, and to the public, very soon.