Davis Center opens to fanfare

While the fire alarm at the Dudley Davis Center is occasionally still going off, dozens of offices, businesses and hang out areas are now open for business. Though construction at the Davis Center is still a work in progress, clubs, businesses and restaurants are ready to open upon student arrival. The Davis Center, which students got their first taste of when they sold back their used text?books in May, is now home to a multitude of facilities. “Club members moved their offices from Billings and are enjoying their new spaces,” SGA President Kesha Ram said. “The best thing about the building is that so many de?partments are all clustered together so we can all commu?nicate all the time,” Ram said. “Everyone is sort of amazed and blown away, even before they have a chance to buy any of the food products,” said Patrick Brown, Director of Student Life and the Davis Center. According to an online poll, 53 percent of students are most excited about the new food options. New campus food will in?clude local favorites such as Ben and Jerry’s and New World Tortilla. Additional places to eat include Brennan’s, a new pub and bistro and The Com?mons Marketplace, which will serve a variety of food rang?ing from Sushi to Indian. “There are absolutely no chains in the building,” Ram said, “they made a great effort to get community groups.” A new shop called “Grow?ing Vermont” is a student-run business in the Davis Center that only sells local and social?ly conscious products. Michael Moser, the faculty member who is overseeing the project, told the Burling?ton Free Press that, “the mes?sage is when you keep money cycling in small communities instead of shipping it out of state, you’re supporting your neighbor.” According to their Web site, the Dudley H. Davis Center in?cludes a wide range of meth?ods to reduce UVM’s environ?mental footprint including use of local materials, recycled materials, urinals that use less water, automatic lights, a green roof that helps insulate the building and a radiant heat system that prevents usage of salt to melt ice. In addition, “each floor of the Davis Center also has one gender-neutral shower to re?duce environmental impact. Students or employees can choose to ride their bikes to the Davis Center, for exam?ple, rather than driving and can shower there rather than showering at home,” Brown said. Each environmentally friendly objective and mea?sure added to the Davis Center earns points towards Leader?ship in Energy and Environ?mentally Design (LEED). Ac?cording to the Davis Center Web site, “the Davis Center will be the first silver-rated LEED-certified student center in the U.S.”. While the Davis Center opens for business, the old stu?dent center, Billings, will be transformed as well. Though nothing is definite yet, many changes are being discussed. The third floor may be used for public events, North Lounge may possibly become a special collections area for the library, above North Lounge will potentially become an area for Holocaust Studies and Cook Commons will become an “all you can eat” dining facil?ity such as Simpson or Harris Millis, according to Brown.