Local & Regional News
2:03 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Clinton School Building Becomes Oldest In Arkansas To Receive Certification

Clinton Foundation Clinton School of Public Service
(Left to right) Stephanie Streett, executive director of the Clinton Foundation, Skip Rutherford, dean of the Clinton School of Public Service (speaking), Debbie Shock, director of operations and facilities for the Clinton Presidential Center and Jason Hartke, vice-president of national policy with the United States Green Building Council.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A former railroad station in Little Rock that today houses the Clinton Foundation and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service is getting a new certification for energy efficiency.

To mark Earth Day, officials gathered Tuesday in front of Sturgis Hall, which was built in 1899, to make the announcement.

“The building behind us,” said Stephanie Streett, executive director of the Clinton Foundation, “has received a gold LEED rating for existing buildings and is now officially the oldest LEED certified building in Arkansas and it is among the oldest LEED certified buildings in the United States and around the world,”

Work to implement sustainable practices for reducing the environmental impact of the building was funded through a state stimulus grant given in 2009.  Debbie Shock, director of operations and facilities for the Clinton Presidential Center, said it has lowered utility costs $38,000 a year.

A certification plaque was given to officials for their work for leadership in energy and environmental design, or LEED.

“This 115-year-old building is showing us the way," said Jason Hartke, vice-president of national policy with the United States Green Building Council, which granted the certification. "It shows us the potential of all our existing buildings and our ability to reduce energy and water, while also generating important economic benefits like utility savings and job creation.”

The building was built by the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad, which ran trains through Arkansas on a route between Memphis and Amarillo, Texas. The line was acquired by Rock Island Railroad, which eventually boarded up the station after passenger trains were discontinued in 1968.

The building remained abandoned for many years until being renovated to become a restaurant, then was incorporated into plans for President Bill Clinton’s presidential library.