Best Collaborator

Kentucky’s bipartisan green school model

Kentucky’s green schools efforts have been led by a strong bipartisan team – KY Rep. Jim DeCesare (R) and Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D). Together, they’ve worked with their colleagues in the Kentucky General Assembly to unanimously adopt resolutions in support of green schools, and have encouraged their peers in other states to work across party lines as well.

  • In November 2011, Reps. DeCesare and Marzian hosted a bipartisan group of lawmakers from six states around the region to discuss the common ground around green schools. The event took place in Warren County, KY, at Richardsville Elementary, the nation’s first net-zero school, which serves a 78 percent free and reduced lunch population.  

  • The district, which grows by about 400 students annually, has built six new schools since 2006. Each building at Richardsville has served as an energy efficiency milestone as officials have honed designs to achieve a 77,000-square foot building that operates at 18 kBTUs per square foot. 

  • Since instituting an energy management plan in 2003, Warren County Public Schools have saved more than $6 million dollars – enough to retain more than 160 teacher positions.


Photo credit: Joe Imel (group shot, Jim DeCesare), Sherman, Carter & Barnhart Architects (icon image, gym image)