Letter: Creating healthier schools for our students

September 4, 2015
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We all want our children to live, learn and play in healthy environments. Because they spend much of their days in the classroom, it’s imperative that our schools emphasize strategies that create space to enhance learning.

At Grand Rapids Public Schools, eight of our schools are green-built and five are LEED certified, making us a national leader in the green building movement.

LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — offered by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the world’s most widely known and widely used green building program.

The physical location where students learn is so important to their educational experience. LEED-certified schools provide students, teachers and visitors with better air quality, better acoustics, regular access to sunlight and comfortable temperatures.

Green schools also provide another source of good news for taxpayers — they use 33 percent less energy and 32 percent less water than their conventional counterparts, and save $100,000 per year on direct operating costs.

Grand Rapids has long been a green building leader, and we hope to see other schools and districts across the state join us in creating healthier learning environments for our children.

Kristen Trovillion
Green Schools Fellow
U.S. Green Building Council-Center for Green Schools
Grand Rapids Public Schools

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