LEED Award for Santa Fe High School
District Earns Second
National Award for ‘Green’ Building
Alachua County Public Schools currently boasts two school buildings that have earned national recognition for being environmentally friendly.
The new science classroom building at Santa Fe High School has earned LEED for Schools (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC). The non-profit organization promotes ‘green’ building throughout the nation and recognizes schools and other buildings that meet their stringent criteria.
Only six public school buildings throughout the state have earned LEED silver certification, and two of them are in Alachua County. The district was awarded the Silver Certification in 2009 for the new classroom and multi-purpose building on the campus of the Professional Academies Magnet at Loften High School.
“This award is further evidence that our district is fulfilling its commitment to build facilities that save energy and other resources while providing an outstanding learning environment for teachers and students,” said Superintendent Dan Boyd.
The two-story classroom building on the Santa Fe High campus is 24,000 square feet in size and includes eight science classrooms equipped with the latest technology, including SMART boards and tablet-style computers for high-tech student/teacher interaction. A number of energy conservation features were built in to the design and construction of the building, from the orientation of the building to take advantage of natural light to the use of recycled construction materials to the installation of energy and water-saving fixtures and equipment, such as automatic shut-off faucets and exit signs with LED lights.
“LEED certification identifies the building as a pioneering example of sustainable design,” said Ed Gable, the district’s director of facilities. “By using natural light, installing more efficient mechanical system, cutting down on materials that emit chemicals and other strategies, we’ve shown that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort and function to conserve energy.”
Santa Fe High principal Bill Herschleb says the students, staff and community are thrilled at the addition of the new state-of-the-art science classrooms in a building that is also state-of-the-art for energy conservation.
“It’s a teaching tool in itself,” he said. “We’ve been able to use this building to show students what can be done to meet pressing environmental needs.”
More information on the LEED for Schools program is available at www.usgbcheartfl.org and at the national group’s website at www.usgbc.org. More information about the district’s overall energy conservation program is available on the district’s website.