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BC school goes green

The new Chute Lake Elementary displayed the school’s green technology—from the solar panels on the roof to Smart Boards in the classroom—at its official opening, according to a news release by the Government of British Columbia.

 

“Chute Lake Elementary offers some of the world’s most modern teaching tools such as interactive “Smart Boards” that display material from a computer,” said Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson. “The students and staff at this school are not only being given the opportunity to learn and teach in a safe and environmentally friendly environment, but are able to use the newest high-tech tools of the 21st century, and that is really exciting.”

 

Chute Lake Elementary was built following sustainable design principles, says the government. Seven per cent of the school’s electricity needs come from 16 large solar panels housed on the south side of the school’s roof. The school is also equipped with sensor lights that turn off automatically when there is sufficient natural light available for learning. In addition, approximately 95% of the school’s heating and cooling requirements come from an underground geothermal heat source that transfers energy between the ground and the building.

 

To support the students’ understanding of sustainability and its impact on future generations, the Central Okanagan school district is currently developing an educational program that will teach their students about renewable energy.

 

“This new facility has been designed and built for our youngest students, to give each and every one of them a comfortable, safe, and eco-friendly learning environment,” said Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid. “A lot of thought and consideration went into the planning of this facility; it is not only an environmentally friendly building, but there are a number of rooms in the school that can serve multiple purposes, which is a concept that supports our government’s Neighbourhood Learning Centre initiative.”

 

The total cost of the new school was $13.6 million and the design aspired to an equivalent of the LEED Silver designation. Chute Lake Elementary is the new school to 350 students in grades 1-7 and has two classrooms to accommodate full-day kindergarten.