Green Building organizations commend Pennsylvania schools for applications

Philadelphia, PA – (April 3, 2012)   Leaders from green building organizations across the Commonwealth offered their support today to the four schools nominated last week by the Pennsylvania Department of the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools Award, and commended the 43 other schools for submitting applications as part of this new federal initiative.  Pennsylvania had the highest number of individual school applications from a field of 33 states and the District of Columbia.

The Delaware Valley Green Building Council, Green Building Alliance, and the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council have partnered to promote this initiative and are very encouraged by the strong applications submitted in this first year. All three organizations have adopted strategic plans that include promoting green schools and this is the first step towards ensuring our schools are healthy and energy efficient places for children to learn.

The four schools nominated for the Green Ribbon Schools award are:

• A.W. Beattie Career Center, Allegheny County

• Radnor Middle School in Radnor Township School District, Delaware County

• Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School in Chambersburg Area School District, Franklin County

• Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Philadelphia

PA DOE Deputy Secretary Michael Walsh is recognizing all 24 applicant schools from the Delaware Valley Green Building Council’s territory are being recognized at a ceremony to be held at Delaware Valley College on April 19, 2012.  Each school will receive a monetary award and a certificate recognizing their commitment to becoming a green school.  This recognition is supported by generous sponsorships from the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic, Armstrong Commercial Ceilings and Massaro Corporation.

“The fact that so many schools applied for this prestigious award demonstrates how important green projects and green learning are in our school environments,” said Janet Milkman, Executive Director of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council. “These schools have invested in projects and programs that make their schools healthier places to work and learn, and in many cases, less costly to operate.”

At the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Deputy Secretary Michael Walsh said that all applicants demonstrated a commitment to the Green Ribbon School goals.  “It was clear from the applications that schools across Pennsylvania have made considerable progress towards achieving the three pillars of a Green Ribbon School,” said Walsh.

Created by the U.S. Department of Education, the Green Ribbon Schools Award acknowledges the highest performing green schools in the nation.  According to the Department, a Green Ribbon School demonstrates exemplary achievement in areas of environmental stewardship, occupant health, and an interdisciplinary education focused on environmental literacy.  These areas, called the three pillars, represent the fundamentals of being a green school.  Schools are ranked according to their achievements in the criteria areas.

“By working to reduce energy consumption, provide for a healthy school environment, and ensure that all students are environmentally literate–these schools will be cost-efficient and dynamic places of learning.   We encourage all public and private schools to learn more about the ways they can reduce costs and be considered as a Green Ribbon School.  And, we look forward to seeing even more applications next year,” said Walsh.

The U.S. Department of Education is announcing the winning schools on April 23.

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