Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) has recently been awarded a School District Scholarship from the Center for Green Schools™ at USGBC®. The scholarship includes travel and attendance for school representatives to the Greenbuild Conference and Expo in 2016 and the Green Schools Conference in 2017. It also includes access to exclusive USGBC training opportunities and resources, as well as financial assistance with a high-impact sustainability project of the district’s choice.
ACPS was awarded the scholarship based on the impressive list of environmental initiatives that the school system has already implemented over the past 10 years, championed by Lindsay Snoddy, the ACPS Assistant Director of Environmental, Health, and Safety.
Energy and sustainability successes at ACPS have included
- Earning the Energy Star label for 21 schools.
- Conducting plumbing fixture audits in partnership with University of Virginia to identify and implement water-saving upgrades.
- District-wide green cleaning and integrated pest management policies.
- Composting programs in many schools.
- Rigorous recycling programs that go beyond standard curbside items to encompass such items as electronic waste, batteries, fluorescent bulbs and construction and demolition debris.
In 2012, a Renewable Energy Resource Center was constructed at Henley Middle School with grant funds. The center includes a solar array, a wind turbine and a solar thermal system.
In addition, ACPS recently became the first school system in Virginia to install 1 megawatt of solar photovoltaic cells under the solar power purchase agreement in Dominion Power’s territory. Projects still in the works include upgrading all classroom lighting to LEDs to save energy and improve the learning environment.
ACPS is excited to work with USGBC to make new connections and bring innovative ideas to its district and the entire region. According to Snoddy, the scholarship funds may be used for additional waste reduction programs or to expand the use of data from the solar installations in the educational curriculum.
USGBC Greater Virginia looks forward to seeing the results of some of these initiatives in future Connect the Dots for Green Schools challenge submissions. Congratulations, Albemarle County Public Schools!