FAIRMONT — Area residents can now go back on campus at Fairmont State University, which is now offering something new the public can use.
Along with use of the Falcon Center gym, cafeteria and restaurants on campus, area residents can access the university’s two electric vehicle charging stations at no cost.
“We are excited to add electric vehicle chargers to many other current sustainability initiatives led by students, faculty, staff and community members,” Professor of Chemistry Erica Harvey said. “With campus opening back up, we are pleased to welcome in visitors and local community members to use the chargers. We simply ask that people treat the chargers with respect and move their vehicle once it is charged so that others can use the space.”
Harvey worked closely with a donor to bring the chargers to campus, under the condition that the university’s facilities department would install the chargers and that their use would be offered to the public free of charge. The Level 2 AC chargers, which were installed last August, are located side-by-side in the parking area behind the Ruth Ann Musick Library off the Squibb Wilson Boulevard campus entrance.
“We decided on the current location because of its high visibility, nearby electrical connection and the visual connection to our solar panels, which offset the energy used for EV charging,” Harvey said.
Harvey hopes the accessibility of the chargers will encourage university students, faculty and staff as well as local residents to consider the benefits of driving electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
“Electric vehicle charging is provided as a convenient workplace option and for visitors to campus. The energy for charging is offset by our solar array, which causes a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with electric vehicles that charge here,” Harvey said. “Because transportation can use about the same order of magnitude amount of energy as a typical home, driving with solar-generated electricity can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint.”
Fairmont State’s electric vehicle chargers are listed on PlugShare, a network of EV charging stations around the country, at www.plugshare.com/location/287119.
“The PlugShare entry enables anyone driving by Fairmont to find the chargers and hopefully discover the many other treasures of Fairmont State’s campus at the same time,” Harvey said. “We are happy to now be able to provide this service for Fairmont State and the Fairmont community, as well as campus visitors.”
For resources on owning and operating electric vehicles, visit www.wveaa.org.
Masks and social distancing will continue to be required on campus.
“We’ve worked closely with the Marion County Health Department and in consultation with other state agencies to create guidelines allowing for guests to enjoy our campus offerings again,” said Matt Swain, Fairmont State University chief of police and emergency management director. “We’re thrilled to see the community back on campus, and we are looking forward to welcoming our entire Falcon Family to campus in full capacity as we conclude our phased reopening this month.