The Stanley Center for Peace and Security constructing live building in old Musser Public Library

Published: May. 11, 2023 at 6:39 PM CDT
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MUSCATINE, Iowa (KWQC) - For decades, the former Musser Public Library building served as a hub of learning for people in Muscatine.

Recently, the Stanley Center for Peace and Security has invested more than $14 million to buy, renovate, and transform the historic building into one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the world.

Staff with the Stanley Center are in the process of creating a living building that generates all of its own energy and creates a positive impact on the human and natural systems that it interacts with it. Vice President and Director Mark Seaman says it will be one of only 32 places like this in the world.

“We generate all of our own electricity, we harvest all of the rainwater that falls on site,” Seaman said. “We followed what called, is called the red list so, some of the items that were used in the construction process of the building aren’t toxic in any way or harmful to, to people or living creatures.”

The green aspect of this building, something Maintenance Superintendent Dane Lovell says makes this project even more important.

“The building is special just because of the sustainability aspect,” Lovell said. “You know, creating their own solar energy, recycling the water, the rainwater and things like that and the biophilia inside, and the vegetables that they’re gonna grow and the lettuce and all that.”

Staff say even with the ongoing project, a top priority for the Stanley Center will be interacting with the community and growing.

“We have a number of events for the community all throughout the year,” Seaman said. “From our inclusive dialogue series to our partnerships with local teachers, and some activities for young people and students, especially the Model UN Club at the high school.”

“We hope that people understand the importance of the global challenges that face us,” Seaman said. “And it takes a little bit from everyone to contribute towards solutions, especially around climate change, we all have a part to play.”

In June, the center will host several events, that includes a sustainability fair, where they’ll give tours of the building with musical performances and activities.