Cole: New schools should be green

Maya Cole posted an interesting idea on her Web site:

Energy efficiency stands out as one island of excellence in the MMSD. The Wisconsin Focus on Energy program features the Madison school district in one of its case studies on energy-efficient schools.
I’d like to take the MMSD’s excellent energy-efficiency commitment one step further by directing the district to construct any new school or other building with environmentally sensitive practices, including natural lighting, energy efficiency, water conservation, recycled products, and other green building practices.

You can find examples of “green built” schools on the Web site of the U.S. Green Building Council. For example, the Third Creek Elementary School in Statesville, NC lowered electricity demand through energy-efficient equipment and design, including extensive daylighting. The Clearview Elementary School in Hanover, PA reduced water use by 30%. At Clackamas High School, Clackamas, OR “[t]he creation of a high-performance, green building was not considered a primary aim. In fact, at the time, there was little interest in sustainable design. However, energy efficiency, high-quality indoor environments, environmental responsibility, and resource efficiency became integral to meeting the school district’s established goals,” according to the Web site of the U.S. Green Building Council.
Best of all, healthy school buildings can be built for the same (or less) than a conventional school building and operated at a savings. For example, “the low-energy design of Clackamas High School will save the school district $69,000 per year in energy costs.” The construction cost of $117 per square foot was “significantly lower than that of a typical high school, which averages $135 to $145 per square foot.”

2 thoughts on “Cole: New schools should be green”

  1. Remember the fiasco surrounding the shoddy construction and attendant mold issues when Chavez Elementary was built? MMSD will be building again, a new school on the far-west side at a minimum.
    Thus this green building concept is an excellent idea as well as an excellent example of the kind of proactive, responsible thinking Maya would bring to the BOE.

  2. Not a bad idea for a building concept, but I haven’t heard or read a word on a commitment to a far Westside building. All that has been discussed are the 10-year projections for each attendance area and after the W/M Demographics Task Force debriefing; the board never discussed the Memorial attendance area.
    As for the candidates, I’ve only read two definitive answers from Juan Lopez and Arlene Silveira. It was in response to the question in the Isthmus:
    Link here:

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