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Results tagged “green campuses” from Boarding School Blog - onBoarding Schools

Olney Friends School Helps Reclaim Forest

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Learned about this one via AQ's Twitter.

Working to re-forest coal mining lands in the surrounding area, Olney Friends School faculty and students- working together with BARK (Barnesville Area Reforestation Kommittee)- have participated in the planting of more than 30,000 trees over the past six years.

Learn more about their commitment on the school's blog, Olney Students Encourage Trees to Grow.

Photo credit: page_eliz

Western Independent Schools Meet and Explore Green Campus Ideas and Initiatives

We've published a few pieces on environmental initiatives of eastern boarding schools (Green Cup Challenge) and, not to ignore western schools, we just learned that Cate School hosted the Schools Going Green Conference back on January, 15th.

Faculty and students from 15 school convened for a day-long conference exploring the successes and future of campus environmental initiatives and policies. Participants explored and shared ideas on how to reduce each school's and each individual's environmental impact- realizing that, sometimes, reducing consumption and creating changes requires discomfort.

"Our environmental club took on a militant approach," said one teacher in another group discussion. "We shut down half the school power and water and blocked off walkways for the better part of a day. Everyone was uncomfortable, if not irritated with that," she chuckled, "But that's the point. We'd all be uncomfortable if we started losing the resources we take for granted." Teachers shared the many initiatives at their schools and took notes on how their peer schools implemented their own campus-wide environmental efforts. " (Schools Going Green Conference at Cate School)
In many cases, a construction or renovation project begins its commitment to renewal and efficiency with 'new construction." Philips Academy has consciously and thoughtfully pushed the reuse and renewal process a step further by including the reuse of materials from the old building into other projects around campus and the region. 

Boards from an old hockey arena- now a temporary dining hall- found a new life in Rumney, NH.

"... nearly 98 percent of the components - not just the dasher boards and the plexiglass, but cabinets, countertops, chairs, and tables - have either been recycled in communities such as Rumney or reused as part of the work." (First, do not waste' could be motto for Phillips renovation, Boston Globe)
As John Rogers, the academy's dean of studies and the school's sustainability adviser told the Globe:

"It's not just about the final product. It's about the process, including what happens to the waste materials, the conditions that the workers and the surrounding community are exposed to, and all that kind of stuff that goes into new construction." (Boston Globe)
PA is also striving to earn LEED certification- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, by the US Green Building Council- for the new kitchen and dining hall. Quite a task in light of the fact that kitchens a notoriously inefficient energy consumers.

Kimball Union Academy's Conservation Featured on WCAX

WCAX reporter Adam Sullivan recently highlighted Kimball Union Academy's participation in the Green Cup Challenge in a School Watch segment titled "Meriden School Going Green."

As part of Green Cup Challenge, KUA students and faculty are working to raise the community's environmental and energy consciousness. Students & faculty are reducing personal as well as school-wide environmental consumption- from turning your own lights and appliances off when not needed- to reducing water consumption- to leaving the dining hall lights off when the windows light the room just fine.



A bit about the Green Cup Challenge:

"The Green Cup Challenge™ (GCC) is the first and only national student-driven, interschool Climate Challenge that supports student efforts to measure and reduce campus electricity use and related greenhouse gas emissions, and to encourage water efficiency, waste reduction, and recycling.

The Green Cup Challenge builds awareness about climate change, educates the community about the importance of resource conservation, and encourages the participation of the entire campus. The GCC event takes place each February to call attention to peak energy use, and to provide an opportunity to make every day Earth Day!)"

My Tour of Proctor Academy

I visited Proctor Academy this afternoon to meet with Chuck Will and learn more about his popular blog, Chuck's Corner. We recorded a podcast interview that goes into a good bit of detail about the origins of the blog and how it has evolved over the years. I'll post it to the site in the next day or two (Update: I posted Chuck's Corner: The Blogging Voice of Proctor Academy. Check it out.).

Following the p'cast, Chuck took me on a tour of the campus- my first walk on the school's grounds since I interviewed there in (gulp) 1986. The school facilities were impressive-- from an environmentally rated dormitory to their Fowler Learning Center to a boat building woodshop- but my conversations with the students that we met along the way stuck out the most.

Each spoke thoughtfully about the school and the reasons why a prospective student might consider Proctor Academy. Their answers ranged from, "the school has shaped who I am as a person and what I want to be" to "the strong relationships between teachers and students." I'll post a video wrap up soon that features the students who took the time to chat with me (Update: you can watch the video below).


Reasons to Consider Proctor Academy from Peter Baron on Vimeo.

I snapped some photos and posted them to our Flickr account. You can check out the set below:

With Peabody House, Proctor Academy's new dormitory for 16 students and two faculty apartments, the school brings to life and ties together a history and growing commitment of stewardship to resources and the environment.

Proctor has a long history of environment connection and awareness through projects such as the school's woodlot and efforts to become carbon neutral.

With Peabody House, Proctor brings a system of responsible efficiencies to bear on community living. Peabody Hall will benefit from superior insulation, geothermal heating and cooling, electronic window management and boilers that can consume both oil and wood chips.

Headmaster Mike Henriques explains, "We teach by example.  These investments in ecological sustainability are ultimately cost-effective for the school."

You can read more about it on Chuck's Corner, a blog written by Chuck Will, a long time Proctor faculty member. Checkout the Concord Monitor's coverage here and here.

Photo credit: Proctor Academy


Hillside School joins a growing roster of schools incorporating energy efficient green technology into their newest generation of buildings. The common thread among these schools is a growing dedication to environmental responsibility and stewardship.

Hillside's Academic and Health Center features "specially tinted glass to better manage solar heating throughout the building; the implementation of recycled materials in the center's flooring, ceiling tiles, window blinds and acoustic tiles; and the use of environmentally sound materials in the manufacture of classrooms, student desk and chairs and lab stools."

The building achieves even greater efficiency by using a geothermal energy system that pumps cool water, stored in wells below ground, throughout the building's piping system.  Additionally "green roof" technology allows for growing grasses and other greenery on the roof, which can further reduce heating and cooling needs.

"In many ways, the new Academic and Health Center is representative of Hillside's continuing growth and commitment toward achieving excellence in junior boarding school education."  Hillside Headmaster David Beecher explained.

You can read more about Hillside's Academic and Health Center in the Community Advocate (Westborough, MA).

Photo credit: Hillside School
We came across a great story about Trinity-Pawling School's dining hall renovation that will leave the school without a permanent dining room for the 2008-2009 academic year. The story of how the school will work through the renovation is a testament to planning and it's just fun.

How do you feed the community while the dining hall is a construction site? If you're lucky, you have another building or two that can serve as temporary dining rooms.

T-P tore down their old dining hall, but left the left the kitchen standing and fully functional. The hockey rink will serve as the dining room until the ice goes down in late fall. When the ice goes down in late fall, a new maintenance barn will be partially complete and this building will serve as the second temporary dining facility until the new dining room, Scully Hall, is finished.

Food Service moves every meal from the kitchen to the hockey rink and the school has added new vehicles to support their mobile role. As T-P Food Service Director Mark Barone told the Pawling News Chronicle, "It's like doing a wedding three times a day, seven days a week."

Underlying this year's fluid dining situation is Trinity Pawling's dedication to sit-down meals and their importance to the daily interaction among students and faculty.

Scully Hall will also be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) compliant.
Students of Scattergood Friends School in West Branch, Iowa may be some the luckiest I know. They get to work with their hands, practice self-sufficiency and contribute to the local economy. With pasture, restored prairie, fields of corn and soy and a dedicated organic garden, Scattergood produces about one-half of its annual food needs selling summer surplus through a local cooperative.

Living a commitment to social justice, the Scattergood farm practices sustainable, responsible agriculture with minimal processing and a commitment to working the farm as large biotic system. All Scattergood Friends students participate in the maintenance and working of the farm.

The Gazette Online published a short article about the Scattergood Friends farm. It's worth a read.
Outside of critics and architects, the ways that buildings shape thought and convey ideas are often afterthoughts. How many times a day do all of us go in and out of a variety of buildings, seldom thinking about the ideas and concepts that a building conveys? It's just not something unless you're trained in it or interested in architecture that we think about.

However, every once-and-a-while, a building comes along that gets everyone who comes into contact with it to say "wow' prompting the realization of the importance of architecture and it's ability to communicate with those who come into contact with it.

The Cambridge School of Weston seems to have commissioned such a building, the Garthwaite Center for Science and Art which has been chosen by The American Institute of Architects' Committee on the Environment (COTE) as one of the nation's Top Ten Green Projects of the year. The building features design that reflects its New England setting coupled as well as fulfilling US Green Building Council LEED Platinum standards.

The building celebrates its design and engineering with exposed mechanical systems and features; wood is wood and pipes are pipes. "The building uses 60 percent less fossil fuel than traditional school buildings and only ten gallons of water per day." Additional efficiencies result from thoughtful site placement and renewable energy sources.

Of course, the Garthwaite Center's first show in the art gallery focuses on global warming.

Commitment emanates outward from the building. The center works to keep CSW students and faculty mindful, of not only what they use and can conserve each day, but also mindful of the possibilities when you carry environmental stewardship into the world.

On a recent visit to Vermont Academy, I found a school and students dedicated to environmental stewardship. VA student environmental work is beyond anything I participated in or saw during my high school days when students concentrated on bringing recycling to the forefront.

VA students are working to raise $40,000 to install a wind turbine on campus. The turbine would generate a portion of the school's electrical needs reducing the demand for conventionally generated grid power (coal, gas, and nuclear).

Check out their case video:



I especially enjoy their negation of the "wind turbines are ugly" argument. They create a powerful choice- smokestacks or turbines.

The school is also investing in other forms of alternative energy. This past March VA installed solar panels atop the Williams Gymnasium. Like the wind turbine the solar panels will reduce VA's carbon footprint and energy consumption by supplanting boiler use.

One final note that underscores VA's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. A particularly eco-minded student raised money through the school's trustees and others for the school to purchase it's first bio-diesel truck.

It's the end of the week and time for another Boarding School News post. Today's highlights a wide range of news items-- from students working to raise funds for Darfur relief to the greening of school campuses to a boarding school grad being honored for his athletic and academic accomplishments. Enjoy.

For Darfur: Saint Andrew's School (FL) students work with Kanye West to raise funds for Sudan. [The Miami Herald]

Cardigan Mountain School became a bit greener. [Cardigan Mountain School]

The Webb Schools build with the environment in mind. [The Webb Schools]

Westover School turned 99! Happy Birthday to my friends at WS. [Westover School]

Florida Air Academy grad named as Kansas University senior scholar athlete of the year. [KUsports.com]

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