Green Schools in New Orleans
Green New Orleans schools.
When Global Green expanded its effort in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, schools became a critical component of its rebuilding efforts there. The goal of this initiative was to create healthier classrooms and more energy efficient schools that in turn improve student performance and save money for school districts, while helping to protect the environment and reducing carbon emissions. The NOLA Green Schools Initiative was possible by a grant from the Bush Clinton Katrina Fund. Two types of school projects were funded: the green rehab of four Green Seed Schools and the complete remodel and construction of two Green Model Schools.
FOCUS OF OUR WORK
Shortly after the Bush Clinton Katrina Fund (BCKF) grant was announced in 2006, the Louisiana Recovery Authority contacted Global Green and requested that the organization draft a green rebuilding policy for all major school renovations and new schools in Louisiana, whether flood damaged or not. Global Green accepted the state’s request, and worked with green building experts and representatives of the insurance industry to craft a comprehensive green schools policy for Louisiana. In January of 2007, the LRA voted to incorporate Global Green’s policy into its guidelines for schools receiving Community Development Block Grants.
In addition to creating guidelines for the state, Global Green committed to use a portion of its BCKF funds to give three green schools workshops around the state, targeting the regions that were most impacted by the 2005 hurricane season. All three workshops were successfully completed, the first in Orleans Parish, the second in Cameron Parish, and the third and final workshop was held in East Baton Rouge Parish, which has grown significantly as a result of population migration after the 2005 hurricanes.
Other policy efforts have been focused in New Orleans. Global Green drafted a Green Schools Resolution that was passed unanimously by the City Council in May 2008. At the time, the Council directed City staff to work with Global Green to draft a Green Schools Ordinance to give the Resolution some authority, and work on this ordinance is ongoing. Finally, Global Green formally partnered with New Orleans’ Recovery School District (RSD) in 2007, offering guidelines and ongoing technical assistance. The guidelines were incorporated into the recently adopted master plan for Orleans Parish Public Schools, which supports the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard for all of its new school facilities and major renovation projects.
Green Seed Schools
The Green Seed Schools program was the first component of the Green Schools Initiative. Four schools were selected and designated as Green Seed Schools: A.P. Tureaud Elementary School, The International School, Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary School, and Gentilly Terrace Elementary School. Each school received up to $75,000 in grant funds toward energy audits, technical assistance, and improvements to increase energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and if feasible, create on-site renewable energy generation. More on our green seed schools in New Orleans.
Green Model Schools
The Model Green Schools program was the second and more ambitious phase of the NOLA Green Schools Initiative. This program has resulted in the creation of high performance showcase green schools including the major rehabilitation of one school and the new construction of another school.
The two Model Green Schools received more than $720,000 (combined) worth of green upgrades and technical assistance with a goal of achieving LEED for Schools Silver certification. The Model Green Schools program allowed for a comprehensive menu of improvements that contributed to model green environmental conditions in the building such as improved acoustics, lighting, and indoor air quality, and greater reductions in water and energy use. The two schools selected for this program were Andrew H. Wilson Elementary School and L.B. Landry High School. More on our green model schools in New Orleans.