Ryan Chartrand

Students voting on the Recreation Center expansion will be asked to answer an exit opinion poll as to whether the construction should be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.

In the planned version of the poll, only students who voted yes were permitted to participate in the exit poll. Associated Students Inc. recently altered the voting structure to allow all voting students to voice their opinion.

“Everyone should be able to share their opinion on LEED certification regardless of their stance on expansion,” environmental management senior Antoine McGrath said.

If the expansion referendum passes, the student opinion poll will be used as a guiding light for the design process. LEED is a building rating system of the United States Green Building Council created to encourage green design and implementation.

Current California State University policy is that new construction projects adhere to LEED equivalency standards, but the Green Campus program and Empower Poly Coalition are encouraging students to push for certification.

“Third-party accreditation will hold Poly to the highest standard. Certification enforces accountability, making sure construction companies can’t cut corners. Accreditation enforcement ensures the standards are met,” said industrial engineering senior and Empower Poly Coalition President Chad Worth.

The program awards silver, gold and platinum certification based on six categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation, and design process.

The new science and math building as well as the new construction management buildings both scrapped LEED certification in light of budget restrictions in recent years.

“With the Rec Center, students have the opportunity to implement what the university failed to do,” Worth said. “In essence, students can LEED the way.”

“If the entire student body is polled, I’m confident there would be overwhelming support for LEED certification,” McGrath said.

If the Rec Center were to be LEED certified, it would not alter the proposed $65 increase in student fees or any of the other items planned in the expansion referendum. Sustainability would also offer long-term cost benefits for the campus and ASI.

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