In this edition of I Am HISD, which features district students, graduates, employees, and other team members, we talk to the new Manager of Energy & Sustainability Kellie Williams about how her experiences at Fort Bend ISD will impact her decisions here, which sustainability efforts are already afoot in the district, and what’s on the horizon for HISD in terms of “green” initiatives.
You joined HISD in May as the new manager of Energy & Sustainability. What is your vision for that department in the years ahead?
I’d like to see HISD become the leading K–12 entity in environmental stewardship, to participate in several energy initiatives, and to achieve national recognition for outstanding performance.
We’ll also be rolling out a new energy master plan, and bringing in some consultants and engineers to identify and address deficiencies starting this year with a really aggressive approach. They’re going to be collecting data first, such as utility usage and window-to-wall ratios, then gather boots-on-the-ground types of facility information, such as light levels, temperature, and humidity readings. The goal is to complete a thorough investigation and identify opportunities for savings. Continue reading
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has teamed up with Houston Independent School District to offer the first in a series of sustainable schools webinars for all teachers on Tuesday, Sept. 30.
This is the seventh in a series of stories counting down to the start of school, spotlighting what is new in HISD in the coming year.
As campuses head into the new school year, expect to see lots of work going on in HISD, with simultaneous work on two bond programs. Over the next several months, contractors will be busy at several campuses finishing up a variety of projects under the $805 million 2007 bond program, including new air conditioning, mechanical and electrical systems for Hogg Middle School and new classroom lighting at Pugh Elementary.
As those projects are completed, work on the $1.89 billion 2012 bond program is ramping up, with construction set to begin on all the schools in the first group of the program by the end of the year. Those schools include: Continue reading
Performing manual labor outdoors in July is probably not the way most Houstonians would choose to spend their time, but for some HISD students, there’s nowhere else they’d rather be.
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Incoming seventh-graders at Henry Middle School have spent their summer creating something beautiful and educational for their campus.
Teacher Terry Moore and his students have spent three weeks building a garden at the school, thanks to donated funds. The garden consists of 15 planters and a pond with a bridge. The students studied plant lifecycles, germination, and pollination before they chose the plants they wanted to nurture. They then took to constructing, digging, painting, and planting to bring the garden to fruition.
“This is a huge undertaking for the kids,” said Moore.
Berry Elementary School second-graders took out their green plastic knifes and chopped red peppers, cucumbers, cilantro and carrots before tossing the ingredients into a mixing bowl.
“This is fun,” said student Amairanny Macias as she smelled the ingredients for the herb quinoa and bean salad the students were making from ingredients from the school’s vegetable garden. “We’re going to mix the cheese in next.”
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Berry Elementary School reaches LEED Silver status�
Campus is seventh in HISD to reach Silver level of certification for green schools
The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Berry Elementary School the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver designation, making it Houston ISD’s seventh school to receive that level of certification.
The newly designed environmental studies magnet school, a $15.7 million project built with funds from HISD’s 2007 bond program, has multiple environmental enhancements designed to save energy. The two-story, 86,000-square-foot building features large cisterns that collect rainwater for irrigation, a three-sided courtyard that includes outdoor learning areas and wildflower garden areas for additional science projects, enhanced science laboratories, and large windows in each classroom. Continue reading
Temporary buildings used for classroom instruction at Grady Middle School could be gone as early as the summer in preparation for a two-story building addition that will connect to the campus’ existing facility.
“Temporary buildings are great, but the whole point is that they’re temporary,” said Principal Gretchen Kasper-Hoffman during a community meeting Monday night at the school. “We have to do what’s best for our students now and for our future students to ensure we have a sustainable building that will be here for years to come.”
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Berry Elementary School’s eco-friendly and inviting building design received a real estate development award Tuesday from the Houston District Council of the Urban Land Institute.
The school won a 2014 Development of Distinction Award, which recognizes Houston area building projects that exemplify best practices in design, construction, economic viability and community health. The school was one of two finalists for the award in the nonprofit category. Continue reading
A group of HISD parents, architects, teachers and administrators toured a Houston-area green school on Tuesday – complete with an eco-pond, windmill and daylight in every classroom.
A common area on the second floor of Gloria Marshall Elementary School utilizes reclaimed wood. (Photo courtesy of SHW Group)
Members of the Project Advisory Team (PAT) for Parker and Relief elementaries toured Gloria Marshall Elementary School in Spring to get ideas for the redesign of Parker and the design of Relief, which will be a brand-new school built under the district’s 2012 bond program. Such tours are being held for all the Project Advisory Teams to help bond campuses visualize the possibilities for their schools.