601 S. Main Street was built before the turn of the century (1860s) as a college chapter house for Sigma Phi. It housed various fraternities until 1955 when it was vacated. The property was then sold by the Colleges and became a rental property. In 1991, HWS purchased the building back.
After extensive renovations, the building was reopened as the Finger Lakes Institute in June 2004 and dedicated in October 2004. Funding for its renovation came through the support of numerous individuals including NY State Senator Michael Nozzolio and US Congressman James Walsh.
Today, the FLI houses several laboratories and spaces used for scientific research by HWS students, faculty and FLI staff. These include the first floor Baker Water Quality Lab used primarily for nutrient and chlorophyll analysis, a classroom used for public outreach and teacher trainings as well as a mercury and wet chemistry laboratory in the walkout basement.
Building Design and Energy Efficiency
HWS Students designed the energy systems used in the FLI building to operate completely on renewable energy resources.
The FLI interior temperature is regulated by a geothermal heating and cooling system, also known as a “geo-exchange system.” Geothermal heating and cooling systems work by moving heat, rather than by converting chemical energy to heat like in a furnace. A total of 20 wells, drilled to the depth of 100 feet, were installed to use the earth’s constant temperature, 55 degrees F, as a heat source or heat sink, depending on the season.
The heat pump system for the FLI consists of six units. These pumps use electricity to move heat from the geothermal source to the surface. The US EPA has concluded that the geothermal heating and cooling system is one of the most favorable technologies to use in terms of operating efficiency and economics. Although geothermal heat pumps cost more to install than conventional space conditioning systems, the additional investment can be recovered in three to five years through lowered heating and cooling bills and minimum maintenance expenses.
In 2009, the Finger Lakes Institute received the EPA ENERGY STAR Small Business Award for increasing the energy efficiency of its facility through energy management improvements over a two-year period. Only six other small businesses across the country received the same honor in 2009.
DIRECTIONS TO THE FINGER LAKES INSTITUTE
601 S. Main Street, Geneva, N.Y
Free public parking is available along South Main St. (Rt. 14). Additional parking is available in the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Medbery Parking Lot located on Pulteney Street across from the HWS Scandling Center. Please visit the HWS Campus Safety office for a visitor’s permit.
From the North:
- Take NYS Route 14 south into the city of Geneva.
- Turn right on North Street at first stoplight in town.
- Cross railroad tracks—Go straight through first stoplight (Genesee Street).
- Take a left at second stoplight onto North Main Street.
- Go straight through three stoplights and past Downtown Geneva. NYS Route 14 will become South Main Street after third light (William Street).
- 601 South Main Street will be on the Seneca Lake (East left) side of South Main Street, approximately one mile after the third stoplight, and just past the Routes 5&20 on-ramp.
From the South:
- Take NYS Route 14 North along Seneca Lake to the city of Geneva
- As you enter the city of Geneva, NYS Route 14 will become South Main Street
- 601 South Main Street, the home of the Finger Lakes Institute, will be on the Seneca Lake (East or right) side of South Main Street, just before the NYS Routes 5&20 on-ramp.
From the East:
- Take NY Routes 5&20 west into the city of Geneva.
- As you enter the city, you will go straight through two stoplights on Routes 5&20 (West).
- Past the second light, you will travel approximately one mile on an elevated overpass, past Seneca Lake on your left.
- After one mile, you will pass under the NYS Route 14 overpass.
- Immediately after the NYS Route 14 overpass, you will bear right onto the NYS Route 14 South on ramp. Take a right on NYS Route 14 South (S. Main Street).
- 601 South Main Street will be on the Seneca Lake (East or left) side of South Main Street, approximately 200 yards past the Routes 5&20 on-ramp.
From the West:
- Take NY Routes 5&20 East into the city of Geneva.
- As you enter the city, you will go straight through a series of seven stoplights on Routes 5&20 East, traversing the business district of town.
- Past the seventh light (Pulteney St. Intersection), you will bear right onto the NYS Route 14 South on-ramp.
- 601 South Main Street, the home of the Finger Lakes Institute, will be on the Seneca Lake (East or left) side of South Main Street, directly across from the NYS Route 14 South on-ramp.
From the Thruway (NYS Route 90):
- From the NYS Thruway, follow the directions for points North of Geneva.
- NYS Route 14 North intersects with the NYS Thruway (Exit 42) approximately seven miles north of the City of Geneva
- 601 South Main Street, the home of the Finger Lakes Institute, will be on the Seneca Lake (East or left) side of South Main Street, directly across from the NYS Route 14 on-ramp.