Norwich University to make some major upgrades - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Norwich University to make some major upgrades

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Norwich University is abuzz with the sights and sounds of heavy equipment.

"From a construction standpoint it is a very exciting time to be on campus," said David Magida, the chief administrative officer at Norwich University.

There is now $41 million in new construction underway on the Northfield campus. Projects include major updates to athletic facilities, and a new biomass plant to help heat the university.

"We will not only save over $1 million a year in operating costs, but we are going to drastically reduce our emissions," Magida said.

A $25 million 268-bed dorm is also in the works.

"When this new dorm opens up in the fall of 2014 there will be no more overcrowding on campus," Magida said.

The university estimates it will take close to 400 construction and tradespeople to get the job done. It's good news, says Sam Andersen, the executive director of the Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation.

"It means a great deal for our Central Vermont region. First, it is one of the largest developments we have seen in the recent past, it is one of the biggest we have had in Central Vermont," Andersen said.

When the work is complete on campus, the school is slated to add six full-time employees to the payroll.

"Norwich is a critical piece of our infrastructure, so to see that school growing and thriving is very important," Andersen said.

Those in charge admit the final goal is a work in progress, but argue the community and campus have a lot to gain.

"It's transforming the university," Magida said. "It's continuing the transformation of Norwich University."

The athletic facility is scheduled to open in time for football this fall.

The new biomass plant is due to use 13,000 tons of wood chips a year. Norwich has committed to buying the fuel source within 100 miles of campus.

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