Savannah Country Day School's new Lower School will be the first LEED Certified School in Savannah, Georgia.

July 11, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News

SCDS’s new Lower School building will meet environmentally responsible standards

(SAVANNAH, GEORGIA) Savannah Country Day School’s new Lower School building will protect natural resources while providing an unparalleled education.

The new Lower School will be the first school in Savannah to be LEED-certified, meeting the standards of the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Thomas Bonnell, headmaster of Savannah Country Day School, believes the decision will benefit the students.

“Building our new Lower School as a LEED certified building will also be of great educational value for our children, not only their environmental education, but their ethical education as well. For the process of LEED certification is essentially a process of becoming aware of our impact upon the world, by asking how each of the elements of the building will affect the environment and whether there are other ways of constructing the building that will not only minimize negative impact, but, in the best of all possible worlds, help restore the environment,” Bonnell said. “Essentially, it is ethical thinking done at the institutional level, ethical thinking we believe will help our students learn to think ethically as well.”

Country Day’s choice to build in an environmentally responsible manner showed vision and leadership, according to Tommy Linstroth, Chair of Savannah Chapter of the US Green Building Council.

“SCDS's decision to pursue LEED is a win for all involved,” Linstroth said. “LEED certified schools have shown higher attendance rates and better test scores, and the impact on the environment will be minimized.”

Bill Eswine, SCDS’s Lower School science teacher, applauds the recent decision by the Board of Trustees to build a LEED certified Lower School Building because of the message it will send to the students.

“We could celebrate hundreds of Earth Days with engaging activities and powerful reminders to care for the earth, but they would not have the positive impact that this LEED building will have on our students,” Eswine said. “It will be tangible evidence of Savannah Country Day School's commitment to the environment and to the value that is inherent in caring for the earth. It will also serve as a constant reminder of what is required to reduce the impact that human beings have on the planet. The world that our students will inhabit as adults will not afford them the luxury of taking environmental concerns for granted. How wise we are to prepare them for their roles as leaders in a world in which environmental issues are unavoidable.”

LEED features for the new Lower School include:
• Reducing water use by 20 percent
• Using lower-fume paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants and carpets
• Using some materials, such as bricks, that come from within a 500-mile radius
• Using some recycled materials

Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in January or February of 2007 with a tentative completion date of August 2008. The 52,500-square-foot building will house grades 1-5, the media center, science facilities and administrative offices for the lower school.

Two buildings housing grades 1-4 and the library will be razed this summer. Lower school students will attend class in the school’s modular village until the new building is completed. The village recently housed middle school students until the new Pape Hall opened in the fall.

The Savannah Country Day School is located at 824 Stillwood Drive, Savannah, Georgia 31419. For more information log onto or call (912) 961-8828.

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