UofL President James Ramsey and Speed School of Engineering Dean Mickey Wilhelm dedicated the renovated building and honored its main donors, George and Mary Lee Duthie, and other contributors during an open house ceremony Nov. 12.
George Duthie is the retired former owner of Louisville contract-engineering firm Stewart Mechanical Services. Officials unveiled a portrait of the couple that will go in the former Kersey Library, which has been refurbished with a new interior, landscape and mission.
The Duthie Center for Engineering houses the Speed School’s career services center, a student commons area with food court, freshman engineering teaching laboratories and classrooms, and offices and laboratories that consolidate the computer engineering and computer science department.
In the career services center, corporation representatives will be able to interview Speed students for post-graduation jobs and for co-op posts. Speed School requires three alternating semesters of paid, on-the-job co-op experience for completion of its bachelor’s degrees.
UofL is planning to seek LEED silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the renovated, 34,000-square-foot facility located behind the J.B. Speed Building off Eastern Parkway. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, provides standards for environmentally sustainable construction.
Built in 1946 to house the Institute for Industrial Research, the building also housed the geology department before becoming the school’s library. It was named in honor of Laura Kersey, Speed School librarian for 32 years. The Laura Kersey Reading Room in Ekstrom Library was named in her honor in 2007 following consolidation of the libraries in 2006. Engineering and natural sciences collections formerly housed in the building were moved to UofL’s flagship library.
The Duthies also created the Mary Lee and George F. Duthie chair in engineering logistics at Speed School in 1998, with a Bucks for Brains state Research Challenge Trust Fund match.