The Ruane Center bio-swale manages stormwater while creating an outdoor classroom and living biology laboratory for student teaching.
Rainwater that falls on the Ruane Center roof goes into roof downspouts, through underground piping and discharges into the new bio-swale located behind the Science complex. This bio-swale addressed the Narragansett Bay Commissions regulatory requirements to manage stormwater runoff associated with new construction projects like the Ruane Center. In addition to addressing the regulatory aspects of stormwater management, the College took the opportunity to create a living laboratory for student learning. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety worked with Biology professors, Maia Baily and Patrick Ewanchuk to select native plant species for classroom and laboratory teaching. The new bio-swale mitigates stormwater runoff while expanding student hands-on learning. The bio-swale also has a nature path, bike rack and outdoor classroom space for the enjoyment of the whole College community.