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USGBC Gateway Chapter Workshop Focuses on Local Schools’ Green Initiatives

October 26, 2011

The Missouri Gateway Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council will conduct the fourth annual “A Case for Sustainability: Local Schools Go Green” Workshop 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at Harris-Stowe State University’s LEED silver-certified Early Childhood Development/Parenting Education Center, 10 N. Compton Ave. 

This free workshop for school educators, administrators and interested parents will explore operational cost savings and political facts of going green, as well as student engagement in the process during eight concurrent classes. The workshop is cosponsored by St. Louis Community College, the Cooperating School Districts and St. Louis County.

Session topics include school building design and operations, student initiatives, sustainability models and school cultures. “From the trenches” sustainability initiatives in nine local schools will be reviewed, including efforts to reduce food and materials waste; conserve heating, cooling and lighting energy; and engage families in green routines.

The keynote presentation will feature Joanie Hendricks, the public relations coordinator for Warren County Public Schools in Bowling Green, Ky. She will discuss their Richardsville Elementary School, the nation’s first net-zero energy school building. The district designed the building to be a hands-on energy museum so students can continue learning about energy. The Net-Zero School milestone is one of many accomplishments of Warren County Public Schools that also has offset $6 million in energy costs since 2003 by changing behaviors and mindsets.

The closing session will focus on the Green Schools Caucus, a bipartisan group of legislators who support the educational outreach and implementation of green schools that are eco-friendly, promote learning and save taxpayers money.

St. Louis Community College has been aggressively integrating sustainability into all aspects of its operation for more than 20 years, initially as energy conservation measures, and more recently to include environmentally sound designs. STLCC’s Wildwood campus earned LEED gold certification in 2008, and the 31,000-square-foot William J. Harrison Education Center in North St. Louis earned LEED gold certification in 2011.

STLCC’s Workforce and Community Development division collaborated with internal and external partners to secure more than $3.3 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds earmarked for green job training.

The college has received the Growing Green Educator Award from the USGBC’s Missouri Gateway Chapter for developing and implementing green building education programs and commitment to sustainable infrastructure and operations. STLCC received the 2010 Heroes of the Planet Sustainable Educator Award from the St. Louis Business Journal and a Circle of Excellence Award for achievements in the Green Business Challenge, sponsored by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association.

To register for the Nov. 2 workshop or for more information, call 314-577-0225 or visit www.usgbc-mogateway.org/events.