Andrew H. Wilson Elementary School in Broadmoor to be first model school for sustainable redevelopment in New Orleans
New Orleans – July 17, 2008 – Global Green USA, Green Cross’ U.S national affiliate, has contributed $300,000 plus technical expertise to fund the transformation of the Andrew H. Wilson Elementary School into the first official Model Green School, raising the bar for community rebuilding standards. Partnering with the Recovery School District, Global Green USA will rebuild and apply LEED Silver status green renovations to the school building that sustained severe damage due to levee failures after Hurricane Katrina. The LEED green building rating system developed by the US Green Building Council has four levels of certification of which Silver is the next step after initial basic certification.
On Thursday, July 17, a groundbreaking event was held on the campus of the Wilson School to kick-off the important community alliance formed between Global Green USA, the Andrew H. Wilson Elementary School, the Broadmoor Improvement Association (BIA) and the Recovery School District (RSD) for redevelopment with a focus on modelling the latest in green, sustainable building.
As a part of their Green Schools program, which was launched in 2004, and with the help of a generous grant from the Bush Clinton Katrina Fund, Global Green USA is offering the $300,000 contribution as well as all necessary technical expertise to achieve LEED Silver status for the cities first Model Green School. The community event will be held on the Wilson School grounds on the South Miro Street side of campus where the post-renovation building entrance will be.
“We’re extremely grateful to Global Green USA for bringing this much needed funding and expertise to the table and for their continued encouragement and support as we proceed to rebuild the school system,” said Paul Vallas, Superintendent, Recovery School District.
On the South Miro Street side of Wilson Elementary School campus, friends, partners and neighbors will gather for remarks from community leaders including Broadmoor Improvement Association President LaToya Cantrell, Recovery School District Superintendent Paul Vallas and Louisiana State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek. Following these comments, the gathering will second line from General Pershing Street to the Rosa F. Keller Library and Community Center for a barbecue celebration including food, music, family fun and games, resource and informational booths, green building demonstrations by Global Green USA staff and evacuation planning information. In traditional New Orleans fashion, the celebratory march will highlight the steadily re-emerging educational corridor and the cultural heart and social hub of the historic Broadmoor neighborhood.
“It is important for residents of New Orleans to get together to commemorate milestones on our path to full recovery,” said LaToya Cantrell, President of the BIA. “Today, we celebrate a major accomplishment. The restoration of Wilson proves that not only is our city coming back better than before but so are our schools. We are so proud to have one of America’s most sustainable elementary schools in Broadmoor, here in the heart of New Orleans.”
Andrew H. Wilson Elementary, the only school in the Broadmoor neighborhood, will be a part of Global Green USA’s “Model Schools” initiative, which overhauls existing public school buildings to yield high performance showcase green schools. Although the low-lying neighborhood, which sat in several feet of flood water in the wake of Katrina, has seen steady revival spearheaded by neighborhood organizations and other community leaders since the storm, it’s only school has yet to undergo some necessary renovations.
With the help of the state school district, who have committed to achieving LEED Silver status for the school, and financial and technical assistance from Global Green USA, a design team will integrate the highest standards of efficiency and sustainability when applying needed structural improvements.
“We are thrilled to be able to help the Recovery School District and the Broadmoor neighborhood to not only rebuild this historic school but to create a healthier, more energy efficient learning center so that New Orleans children can truly excel,” said Beth Galante, Director of Global Green USA’s New Orleans office. “Rebuilding our schools and other major institutions to the highest levels of sustainability is a wise investment in our city’s future, and an essential part of Global Green USA’s national movement to help coastal cities. We are excited to be working with the Broadmoor neighborhood to rebuild stronger than ever and excited that this community has distinguished their school as an important model and stimulus for rebuilding all New Orleans schools in a sustainable way. Global Green USA is proud to help create the first truly green school in New Orleans, an investment that will pay dividends for generations to come in higher test scores, healthier students and teachers, and lower utility and maintenance costs.”
As a national showcase green school, the Wilson Elementary School building will incorporate more than 40 specific green measures outfitted specifically to enhance the building’s energy efficiency and student performance. Among these green technologies will be 12-15 Solar Domestic Hot Water panels to be installed above the kitchen which will serve 90% of hot water cooking needs. There will also be two 12,000 gallon above ground water cisterns to collect and store rainwater for irrigation purposes as well as an internet-based monitoring and data collection system to illustrate solar domestic hot water, rainwater, PV and day lighting usage for both educational and carbon offset purposes.
“Green schools have been proven to provide better learning environments for students, producing 20-25 % higher test scores. Additionally, green schools provide energy cost savings, lower water usage, healthier students and teachers, better teacher retention rates, lower absentee rates and substantially lower long term operation and maintenance costs,” said Matt Petersen, President and CEO of Global Green USA. “Wilson Elementary will be a model for how we would like to see the green rebuilding of all schools. We hope this project will show local, national and worldwide spectators that building schools green is achievable. We’re proud to provide the proof that every school can and should be built this way”, said Peterson.
To identify and understand the green technology in the school, ample interpretive signage will be posted in and around the school highlighting the school’s adopted green technology and strategies. Signage will be just one small factor of larger goals to incorporate the building’s newly adopted eco-friendly technologies within the curriculum at Wilson Elementary planting seeds in our youth about the future of building geared toward minimal environmental footprints.