Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle was greeted by students this morning at Springdale Park Elementary School (SPARK) as he arrived for the Turner Broadcasting taping of the “High Performance, Healthy School” video in conjunction with the U.S. Green Building Council. SPARK was selected to be highlighted as an exemplary example of a LEED school.
To ascertain LEED certification, the school had to meet certain prerequisites and benchmarks related to sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor air quality. Springdale Park is currently awaiting the final designation for LEED silver-level certification. To achieve this level of certification, the school set goals which included;
• Building classrooms that are acoustically designed to limit noise from the outside and to reduce noise between spaces so teachers can better teach and students can effectively hear and communicate.
• Reducing water use by 20 percent (over current typical water use design) by using high-efficiency fixtures such as low-flow toilets and faucets.
• Reducing energy usage by 24 percent or more over standard building practices by using energy-efficient mechanical systems and increased use of day lighting.
• Obtaining 10 percent of materials from within a 500-mile radius of the school, thereby supporting the use of indigenous resources and reducing the environmental impacts of transportation.
Springdale Park opened for the 2009-2010 school year and is APS’s first LEED-certified school.
SPARK’s principal, Yolonda C. Brown, is dedicated to green learning principles. She, the teachers, and the Springdale Park Parent-Teacher Organization have integrated green concepts such as organic gardening, recycling, and composting into the curriculum. The school has a rooftop garden in addition to a land-based garden and has implemented a Farm to School program in which food that is grown in the garden is used in the cafeteria.
“I am thrilled for the children to be able to learn about their environment and how the design of this building enhances their every day learning experiences. For kids who have asthma or other health conditions, SpringdaleParkis a very healthy place to learn,” says Brown. “They are breathing much cleaner air. And for us to serve as a model for other APS schools and schools nationwide who want to go green is very exciting.”