MACON — Mercer University earned an “A” grade for its efforts on transportation in the 2010 Sustainability Report Card, earning placement in the Transportation Leaders category. The University was also one of just 12 schools featured in the Transportation Leaders section of the Green Report Card’s Web site. The list of Transportation Leaders is composed of 105 schools that earned “A” grades in this category.
Mercer earned the grade for its trolley services between campus and downtown and its partnerships to revitalize the areas around the university to make them more attractive to faculty and staff – giving them the freedom to walk or bike to work. Additionally, the University’s Bear Bikes program, a bike sharing program for students, faculty and staff on the Macon campus, recently received a $40,000 grant to expand its program, with an emphasis on biking in the College Hill Corridor and downtown Macon.
The grade was an affirmation for Dr. John Hintermaier, an assistant professor of history and the chair of Mercer’s sustainability committee.
“This really shows one of Mercer’s distinctives – that we are willing to partner with community groups and local government to work on projects that benefit a lot of people, not just ourselves,” Dr. Hintermaier said. “By creating a walkable, bikeable community where people want to live, you’re creating a healthier environment, for yourself and the planet, right at the beginning. It also undercuts the myth that environmental things have to be luxury items, because your actual investment is small relative to the benefits we accrue from them.”
The University improved its overall grade to a C from a D+ on last year’s report card, and Dr. Hintermaier believes the University will further improve that score, next year and into the future. Mercer will soon begin construction on its first LEED-certified building on the Macon Campus – a renovation and expansion of an existing home that will serve as the University’s new Admissions and Welcome Center. Other initiatives that should positively impact the university’s score are the relocation of The Bike Store into Mercer Village and construction of The Lofts At Mercer Village, which will provide more opportunities for upperclassmen and graduate students to live on campus. In addition, the College Hill Corridor project will continue to enhance the quality of life in the areas surrounding Mercer.
About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,000 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.
— 30 —