Coronavirus Update: Washington College responds to coronavirus outbreak. More Info

  • Semans-Griswold Building at Washington College Semans-Griswold Building at Washington College

Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall

Dedicated on October 18, 2019!

The Waterfront Campus at Washington College was first conceptualized in 2008, and now, thanks to the generosity of our donors over the past ten years, we are finally seeing this vision come to life!   

Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall (SGEH)  provides academic and lab spaces for the College’s growing environmental programs. It will also be a regional hub for hands-on research on the Chester River, and a magnet for thought leadership centered on the environment and the challenges facing the region, the country, and the world.  

SGEH has multiple unique features that allow WC students and the community to thrive in this one-of-a-kind learning space.   

Three Innovative Lab Spaces  

Wet Lab and River Flow-Through System – The wet lab hosts a river flow-through system, which pumps water from the Chester River directly into and out of the lab. This allows our students to study different aspects of the Chester River in a controlled environment using water directly from the river.   

Watershed Innovation Lab – The Watershed Innovation lab serves as the home to CES’s Chester River Watershed Observatory. Here, students have the opportunity to work on buoys that monitor the river’s water quality, side-scan sonar, build AquaBotz and more.   

Environmental and Biology Lab – The third lab serves as a laboratory learning space for some Environmental and Biology courses at Washington College.   

Classroom Space   

The classroom at SGEH is used for multiple Environmental and Biology courses, along with serving as the on-campus classroom for CES’s Chesapeake Semester.   

CES’s Headquarters  

SGEH is the new home to the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College, one of three Signature Centers that focus on providing undergraduate students with graduate-level experiences outside of the classroom. 

Living Building Challenge  

SGEH is built to achieve a Living Building Challenge certification. Living Building Challenge is a sustainable development model that is a step above LEED certification. Not only does this certification require that we use sustainable building materials and thoughtful decision making around the natural environment, but it also requires that the building produces at least  105% of the energy that it will use. This will be done through a strand of solar panels that will be stationed on the roof of the building, along with geothermal wells that are installed underneath the building. Living Building Challenge also requires a focus on the health and happiness of the building tenants, along with a focus on art and accessibility to the community.

Interested in having an event or using space in the Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall

Thank you for your interest in reserving space in the Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall. Filling out this form is not a guarantee that the space you are requesting on the day and time will be available. 

The Center for Environment & Society must approve all uses of SGEH facilities and will coordinate with Washington College faculty and staff when necessary. Priority will be given to members of the Washington College community, and organized groups that are partners with the college and the Center. SGEH facilities and equipment will be made available to non-members or outside groups by coordinating through the Washington College’s Conference Services Department. The Center will put you in touch with Conference Services Director if necessary. The charges below do not apply to Washington College Community members looking to reserve space. The Center for Environment & Society reserves the right to waive facility use fees.

The following spaces are available to reserve in Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall:

- Classroom/Conference Room - $150/day

- Wet Lab - $200/day

- Breakout room - $50/day

. If you have questions about the space please contact Jamie Frees Miller at 410-810-8405 or

required text field
required e-mail address field
required text field
required checkbox field
required text field
required text field
required date field
required text field
required text field
required text field
required text field
required textarea field
required checkbox field