Berea College announced that Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant, a regional landmark owned and operated by the college, has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), making it the first LEED certified hotel in Kentucky as well as the Appalachian region, and one of 21 LEED Gold or Platinum hotels in America.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system was designed by USGBC to encourage and facilitate the development of more sustainable buildings and is the nation’s preeminent certification program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
Boone Tavern, built by Berea College in 1909 as a campus guest house, has for decades been known for traditional hospitality and fine dining. It is officially designated a historic property by two national organizations. After nearly 100 years of operation, the hotel underwent a $11.3 million full-scale renovation during 2008 to 2009 to make significant upgrades to the building’s infrastructure, improve efficiency and lower operating costs, and to add modern technologies and other features for improved guest service and comfort. The overarching principle for the renovation was to maintain Boone Tavern’s historic character while creating a green hotel for the 21st century, and to do so in the most environmentally responsible way. As a building renovated to LEED standards, Boone Tavern both contributes to the college’s overall efforts to become a more sustainable campus and to its educational mission, says Larry Shinn, Berea College president.