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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Greening of Roosevelt School District

Green things are afoot in the Roosevelt School District.The South Mountain school district is proactively improving and rebuilding it’s armada of schools. Armed with grant money and a passion for improving everything about the education quality of this little district that could (and will) Superintendent Mary Beyda and those she works with have been championing everything good about the district, and there are a lot of fantastic new ideas and buildings on the horizon.

Many of the districts older schools are being rebuilt, such as Percy L Julian Jr. High and TG Barr. Even more exciting, later this year a state of the art facility like no other in the country will debut right here in South Mountain Village. The Roosevelt Culinary Center will be located at Baseline Road and 10th Street.

P.L. Julian school has the notoriety of being the district’s oldest school. The original building dates back to 1948. The new school will open this fall for the 2011-2012 school year. The brand-new construction features state of- the-art technologies, passive solar shading and a return to some basic ideas that will help with learning. The glass curtain front of the new school is shaded by a mesh structure that floats in front of the glass, mitigating the heat gain from direct sun contact. The school rooms are equipped with technology in the form of Smart Boards that work like giant touch-screen computers and the old-fashion technology of windows to supply natural light for the students. Natural light has been proven to enhance the level of learning in schools and the windows are situated so they don’t face distractions on the playground or direct sunlight which heats up the glass.

TG Barr School has been revamped and almost completely rebuilt with some passive green features such as north-facing, natural light windows and smaller, shaded playgrounds. Its gymnasium is being constructed with recycled steel and radiant barrier and insulation in the roof. And these are just a few of the green features, among others at both schools.

The new Roosevelt Culinary Center building will contain a conference center that will seat 240 for lunch, and be available to the community when not in use by the district. The actual main use of the center is a food warehouse for the district and for the events that will be hosted at the conference center.

The front of the building will have an outdoor patio for impromptu and casual meetings.

A demonstration garden will grow food used in the meals prepared onsite, in the demonstration kitchen where children in the district will be able to learn firsthand about nutrition and food prep. And the green icing on this cake will be solar panel-covered parking providing a portion of the electricity for the complex.

So, later this year when the construction is well underway I will revisit the Roosevelt Culinary Center for an in depth interview with its chef and  mastermind.

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