An eco-friendly high schoolThe new District 206 high school in Alexandria will be energy efficient due to a decision made at the most recent school board meeting. At the meeting held on Monday, November 21, the District 206 School Board voted unanimously to pursue LEED certification for the high school project. The school would be the first one in Alexandria to receive this certification.
By: Stacie Kimball, Alexandria Echo Press
The new District 206 high school in Alexandria will be energy efficient due to a decision made at the most recent school board meeting.
At the meeting held on Monday, November 21, the District 206 School Board voted unanimously to pursue LEED certification for the high school project. The school would be the first one in Alexandria to receive this certification.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Efficiency Design, is the national standard for design, construction and operation of high performance “green” buildings. The certification is a higher standard for design and construction that promotes energy efficiency, environmental responsibility and creates a healthy environment for teaching and learning.
LEED for Schools addresses school spaces and children’s health issues. It provides a comprehensive tool for schools that wish to build green with measurable results.
The rating system includes classroom acoustics, daylight and views, mold prevention and environmental site assessment.
The District 206 School Board chose to seek certification of the high school project last Monday after hearing about the energy and environmental benefits a LEED school provides.
“Sustainability is a high priority goal for the new high school project,” said Dean Anderson, school board chair. “While there is an upfront cost to the certification process, we want this high school to be a model in environmentally friendly design and construction while providing a quality learning environment for students, teachers and the larger community.”
Terry Quist, District 206 superintendent, said, “The building will serve as a teaching tool for students and community about sustainable practices. Strategies employed with the design and construction of the new high school will help reduce operating costs and create energy savings annually for the taxpayers of District 206.”
A facility planning team will work closely with the district to identify and implement a variety of sustainable design and construction strategies as part of the certification process. The companies include Cuningham Group Architecture, JLG Architects, Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, Karges-Faulconbridge, Inc. and Anderson-Johnson Associates, Inc.
The planning team will also contribute 40 percent of the cost.
The anticipated cost is $125,000. The district will cover $75,000 out of the Phase II construction funds and the facility planning team partners will cover $50,000.
“Since we first started the conceptual design process, all partners on the facility planning team have been inspired by the school board’s commitment to sustainable design principles,” said John Pfluger with Cuningham Group. “LEED certification will add tremendous value and it’s the right thing to do for this project. We are happy to answer the call and we thank the board for the opportunity to do that.”
Other Minnesota schools that are LEED certified include Westwood Elementary in Zimmerman and the Kennedy Community School in St. Joseph. The new Wadena High School will also be LEED certified.