McPhail Center for Environmental Studies
The renovation of Barney Memorial Hall restored the historic character of the building and now houses the McPhail Center for Environmental Studies and the English Department. The Barney renovation project produced a place where environmental principles are upheld and demonstrated to the community. Take a Virtual Tour of Barney-Davis!
Upon the announcement of the gift, Environmental Studies Professor, Dr. Abram W. Kaplan said "Our growth has been phenomenal, and this
is an incredible opportunity to build a Center that can both showcase
an impressive array of environmental innovations and serve as a
laboratory for learning about various aspects of the field.
"It was my intent to provide Denison with a new capability to suit a new era, it's all a matter of supply and demand. Industry is giving increasing recognition to the discipline, and if Denison is going to be serious about educating people to be leaders in it - people who are well trained, competent, and have the big picture - then it is essential for the program to have a Center like this as its home," McPhail said.
McPhail is an entrepreneur and the founder of Lectron Products Inc. which is a successful original equipment manufacturer of electronic and electro-mechanical products for the automotive industry. Today he is the president of the McPhail Corp. of Rochester Hills, Michigan, as well as several other corporations dealing with aviation and real estate.
This project was especially distinctive because it recycled (reused) an existing building, instead of constructing a new building from the ground up. The new Barney-Davis Hall is a showcase for the reuse of an existing structure, energy-efficiency, sustainability, renewable resources, the reduction of toxins, and the recycling of wastes.
The Barney renovation project was a real-life exercise in environmental education for the students and community of Denison University, and is now used as a working laboratory for education and research. In 1999, a senior Capstone Seminar group performed a Post-Occupancy Evaluation of the newly renovated Barney-Davis HallThe McPhail commitment on behalf of the Environmental Studies Center complements another gift to the program given by Anne Powell Riley, class of 1953. This donation funded the Directorship of the program which is held by Abram Kaplan. An additional commitment from Jeanette Davis, class of 1924, went toward further renovations within the building