Woodland Primary School has become the first elementary school in Illinois to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Rating Certification for Existing Buildings, officials announced Friday.
District 50 hosted a celebration at the school on Gages Lake Road in Gages Lake with several local dignitaries, school, village and county officials in attendance. Students and parents at the event participated in green-themed activities and games.
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According to the U.S. Green Building Council website, LEED provides third-party verification of green buildings. The LEED process for existing buildings consists of a variety of areas, including energy and water efficiency. Each category needs to be documented in detail to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for approval.
"This is an accomplishment that makes us especially proud because we have done something remarkable for the students we serve," said Donald R. Selzer, Jr., the district's director of operations and facilities. "As a school district, learning is our foundation and through this process, we learned a great deal about the school's sustainability that would not have been uncovered without stringent tests such as air quality, proper ventilation, water usage, waste reduction, supplies and materials."
Many of the changes at Primary that led to LEED certification have occurred behind the scenes. These have included purchasing better and more efficient products, such as water heaters and refrigerators, as well as changing the amount of gallons used each time a toilet is flushed.
Lights were installed that turn on when rooms were in use, rather than being left on when students weren't in the room.