Vermont Law School will use a $250,000 energy efficiency grant to help convert an historic building into a vibrant new center for legal advocacy. The grant was the largest of 14 grants totaling $1.7 million that the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund gave out to colleges, hospitals and other non-profits on June 16.VLS will use the grant to completely renovate 190 Chelsea Street, a two-story building overlooking the South Royalton town green. The building will be historically preserved and upgraded to high standards of energy efficiency using best green building practices.The retrofitted structure will be the home of the South Royalton Legal Clinic (SRLC), which has outgrown its cramped quarters elsewhere on campus, and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic (ENRLC), which operates as a law firm within a law school. The renovated building will give the SRLC 60 percent and the ENRLC 110 percent more space, respectively, than their current locations. Both clinics train law students and provide free legal services to the community.Since 1979, the SRLC has served thousands of Vermont residents who are unable to afford counsel on issues such as children’s rights, immigration, family law, domestic violence, housing, health care and consumer protection. Last year, the SRLC provided approximately $1.5 million in free services. The ENRLC offers pro bono legal representation on environmental matters to organizations and individuals who would not otherwise have access to legal services.“With this support from the Clean Energy Development Fund, the 190 Chelsea project can realize a synergy of environmental, economic and societal impacts that transcend the bricks and mortar required to breathe new life into an old building,” Dean Jeff Shields said. “Through this project, VLS has the distinctive opportunity to restore an historic downtown structure, reduce energy costs and consumption and expand our community and environmentally focused legal aid work.”VLS has raised more than $1.4 million of the $3 million to $3.5 million needed to purchase, renovate and equip the clinics building. A formal fund-raising campaign kicks off in September. Tentative plans call for renovation to start in 2011 and be completed in 2012.The site’s 11,000 square feet will give both clinics increased and improved space for the faculty, staff and student clinicians who often work late at night to meet case deadlines. The building also will become the new home of the VLS Barrister’s Book Shop, which will have an increased product line as well as outdoor and indoor seating that will serve students, faculty, staff and the community.VLS, which has a history of award-winning historic preservation and energy efficiency projects, is working on the 190 Chelsea project with Efficiency Vermont and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. Efficiency Vermont provides technical assistance and financial incentives to households, businesses and schools to help reduce their energy costs with energy efficient equipment, lighting and approaches to construction and renovation. The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation is the public agency designated to be the advocate for historic properties in the state.Many of the 190 Chelsea building’s exterior historic features will be maintained, but the interior was long ago altered, so it will be designed to fit the modern needs of the two legal clinics. The building’s insulation, heating, cooling, electrical, plumbing and other systems will be brought up to code. The result will be a rejuvenated structure that adheres to U.S. Interior Department standards for rehabilitation and is consistent with the law school’s commitment to environmental stewardship and public service.More information on the SRLC and ENRLC is available on their VLS websites.Vermont Law School, a private, independent institution, is the nation’s top-ranked environmental law school and has one of the top-ranked clinical training programs in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. VLS offers a Juris Doctor (JD) curriculum that emphasizes public service, a Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) degree for lawyers and nonlawyers, and two post-JD degrees, the Master of Laws (LLM) in Environmental Law and the LLM in American Legal Studies (for international students). The school also features innovative experiential programs and is home to the Environmental Law Center and the South Royalton Legal Clinic. For more information, visit www.vermontlaw.edu(link is external).Source: VLS. 6.23.2010
While later on Court One, French Open champion Stan Wawrinka takes on world number 48, Victor Estrella Burgos. Womens fourth seed Maria Sharapova will be in the second match on Court 2 as she faces world number 123, Richel Hogenkamp.Top seed Serena Williams is last up on Centre – she takes on Timea Babos of Hungary.Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic faces a tricky encounter against the verteran Finn, Jarko Nieminen.
…efforts being made to recoup money from contractor The Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) administration has moved against a contractor who undertook the construction of the Supply, East Bank Demerara (EBD) Health Centre, but against whom sanctions have since been recommended over alleged shoddy work.This was revealed by Regional Executive Officer Pauline Lucas, who was at the time addressing a statutory meeting of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) held earlier this week. According to Lucas, she has not only terminated the contract but has also ordered the contractor, Navin and Son’s, to repay the region monies for the foundation and columns.“I wrote to him outlining the results of the recent tests that were done and indicated to him that he would have to redo the foundation at his own cost. However, he indicated to me that in his view nothing was wrong with the foundation and therefore he saw no need for the foundation having to be redone,” she said.“I have therefore written to the Ministry of Communities outlining the issues and thereby seeking the advice in the way forward. As such, the Ministry wrote me and accepted my recommendation of terminating the contractor with the contractor tasked with repaying the region,” the REO continued.Lucas stressed that the decision to terminate the contract is based on recommendations made by the senior engineer for the region and the Auditor General’s office, both of whom conducted tests on the works done. Both tests lead to similar findings.However, Region Four Councillor Mazarool Majeed questioned what would become of the foundation in having it redone. According to Lucas, this will be part of the region’s letter to the contractor. She noted that he will have to shoulder the cost of dismantling the columns and foundation.She also addressed other concerns regarding the re-advertisement of the same contract.Councillor Amarnauth Chickan questioned whether the previous blueprints and even the current site would be used again. The Councillor was against the same site being used to construct the health centre and called for a detailed assessment of the area by regional engineers to guide further construction.The Supply Health Centre has for some time been at the heart of a struggle between regional officials seeking value for money and the contractor. A few months ago, an investigation was ordered into the issue by Regional Chairperson Genevieve Allen.The move was sparked after Councillors on the RDC recommended sanctions against the contractor. At the time, it was pointed out that the contractor has multiple contracts in the region and thus, those projects could also have issues.There have been long standing concerns over the quality of the work and the actions of the contractor; all of which had caused the Region Four authorities to seek to halt the construction of the health centre.According to a report that was submitted by the Clerk of Works, the contractor had failed to comply with a number of requirements for the project. Among the requirements reportedly ignored by the contractor was one for the complete removal of tree roots and debris from the site.Regional officials have complained that contrary to the specifications of the project, the casting of the health centre flooring was found to have been done without removing a major tree stump. Lucas had previously expressed concern that this raised serious questions about the strength and quality of the building.The contractor was ordered by the Clerk of Works to not proceed with casting the foundation of the health centre. This cease work order was reportedly ignored.