Wister Education Center and Greenhouse

Project Costs
LEED Certification


On Friday, November 6, 2009 the Wister Education Center and Greenhouse opened. Designed by Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd. of West Chester, PA, it is a GOLD -LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certificated facility which supports the programs of The Scott Arboretum.

“The building is a teaching tool as well as an enclosure,” said Dan Russoniello, AIA, LEED AP, a partner at Archer & Buchanan. “The Scott Arboretum is committed to sustainability and the organization sets a national example with this building.”

The 5,200-square foot structure provides a classroom for public educational activities, a greenhouse for cultivation and propagation, and support space for arboretum staff and volunteers. The building and site design have several innovative features, which will form the basis of a case study in sustainability. The building replaces a much smaller greenhouse that had become functionally obsolete after 25 years of use.

In early 2009, the design of the Wister Education Center and Greenhouse was named a “Green Building of America” award-winning project. The center was selected from more than 2,500 nominated projects and spotlighted in Real Estate & Construction Review - Northeast Green Success Stories  in early 2010.

Project Costs

The project costs for the first phase of this building came to about $3.7 million. In addition, a restricted endowment fund of $600,000 was established to provide for its long term care and maintenance costs.

We still need about $130,000 to complete the project costs and return the  funds advanced for construction  to the College. We have committed to do this by 2014.  You can help us  by clicking here to make a donation to the Wister Center building fund.


Learn more about the LEED certification efforts for the Wister Center:

What is LEED Certification?

Working with LEED Accredited Professionals

Fly Ash Concrete

Controlling Storm Water Runoff

Green Building of America Award


Metasequoia Shingles



FSC Wood

Wister Center Awarded Gold LEED Certification

FOR MORE INFORMATION on the Greenhouse and Education Center contact Claire Sawyers, director, at 610-328-8026 or via e-mail at scott {at} swarthmore (dot) e d u.