My Town is Going Green
Kid Reporter gets a sneak peek of his new school
Kid Reporter John Foran looks at plans of the new school with principal Bill Laffey. (Photo: Courtesy of John Foran)
My town, Radnor, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is almost finished with our new middle school. I recently got a sneak preview of what I can expect this fall as an incoming sixth-grader.
Our new school is a "green building." This is truly the wave of the future. I toured the building with Bill Laffey, the principal, and he explained to me just what being green means. A green design can reduce energy use and maximize the use of sustainable materials. Sustainable means that the materials used will last a really long time.
A green building also improves the health, motivation, and production of all the kids! In fact, according to a U.S. Green Building and American Federation of Teachers study, green buildings can improve student academic performance—how cool is that?
Here are few of the things they are designing with kids and the earth in mind:
-waterless urinals in the boys' room
-automatic light shutoffs in the classrooms
-special, less toxic paints
-artificial lighting that is similar to natural light
-a ventilation system to improve air quality
-a vegetated roof that can absorb rainwater
|An artist rendering of what Radnor Middle School will look like in September 2007. (Photo: Courtsey of Radnor Middle School)|
In order to be considered green, the planners need to meet some pretty strict requirements. For example, they have to be sure to recycle 75 percent of all waste produced during the construction process.
The old middle school building also needs to be demolished, or knocked down, correctly. This includes making sure that the asbestos—a poisonous chemical used in paint a long time ago—is destroyed properly. They also are going to recycle many of the structural pieces from the old middle school.
It was interesting to learn so much about construction and just how much effort goes into making sure this building will last over 100 years, so even my grandchildren will be able to attend this school. The new school will cost almost 45 million dollars—but I think we're worth every penny.
This school will be for sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders—almost 1,000 of us. It will open in September 2007.
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John Foran is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.