Schoonover Center is getting a "green" roof

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ATHENS, Ohio (WTAP) - A roof top space on Ohio University’s campus is getting the green space it was always meant to have this spring.

According to a press release from the university, the roof over the Schoonover Center for Communication's lobby is getting some vegetation.

After receiving several grants totaling over a quarter of a million dollars, the project that was always planned for, is moving forward.

"This is a roof top that's around six or seven years old, and it was originally built to hold a green roof," said Dr. Kim Thompson, a faculty member in the college of Arts and Sciences. "They didn't have the funding or used it for other educational opportunities."

Now the roof is getting four plots for vegetation to be grown, but the university is still exploring plant options.

Dr. Thompson says the layer will increase the building's energy efficiency, by making it easier to heat and cool.

“In the winter time, it insulates the roof top because you have soil here, so you use less energy to heat the home,” said Thompson. “In the summer time, the plants through evapotranspiration take heat away from the roof top.”

It's also supposed to help with storm water run-off.

The roof can only hold about five people at a time, but Thompson says a lot of people have already shown interest in using the space.

“It's not designed to have a large class out here. But already we have had students who are working on engineering projects to do outreach, we have students who have done photojournalism essays, documenting the project, gone to student meetings, we have somebody doing a 3-D model of the space and our design. It's been really exciting to see students engage before it's even planted,” said Thompson.

A grand opening for the green roof will be held in spring.

Thompson says there has been interest in installing green roofs elsewhere in town.