Patriot Hall: Community catalyst for change


Check out our latest video for an up-close look at the energy-efficient features Patriot Hall used on the Path to Net Zero. 

In February, local administrators of colleges and universities gathered in Portland for the Washington Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference. At the conference, Chris Breitmeyer, Clatsop Community College school president, and Elin Shepard, Energy Trust’s New Buildings program outreach manager, spoke about Transformative Energy Leadership.

They used Patriot Hall – a sparkling new health and fitness center on the Clatsop Community College campus – as an example of how Energy Trust’s Path to Net Zero can help colleges and universities reach outstanding energy-efficiency goals and be examples of sustainability.

“The community came to the campus and they were amazed by what we were able to do,” Breitmeyer said. “Energy Trust was so integral to the savings, allowing us to do things that otherwise would not have been possible.”

For Breitmeyer, one of the most rewarding aspects of the building is how it has spurred interest in sustainability and efficiency among student groups and community members. “We have started to see more activities from our student clubs around sustainability. It was always there, but this signature building has really brought that forward,” he said.

The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is a great example. Inspired by Patriot Hall’s grand opening in September, this student group quickly made plans for a green office certification on campus, and is even thinking of starting a competition among area businesses to see who can be the greenest. Members of the community have also been inspired, including those looking to follow the school’s lead and make their own building projects as energy efficient as possible.

That’s the kind of change that makes Patriot Hall so special. It’s the latest of several reinvigorated buildings on the campus of Clatsop Community College, with plans for future projects in the works.

a collage of exterior views of patriot hall with two people running on the indoor track

“We’re not big, but we can have a big impact,” said Breitmeyer. “That’s why it’s very important for us at the community college to provide that kind of leadership.”