IUSD, U.S. Green Building Council will team up to showcase benefits of green schools

IUSD’s newest and “greenest” campus will host an open house and facilities tour on Monday, Sept. 27, as district officials and representatives from the local chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council team up to share strategies for conservation, sustainability and environmental education.

The event, designed to showcase the benefits of green schools, will take place from 5 to 8:15 p.m. at Stonegate Elementary School, located at 100 Honors in Irvine. IUSD students and their families may attend for free with an event flyer, though all guests are encouraged to RSVP in advance.

“The Irvine Unified School District has been walking a greener path in all areas of its operations, from standards-based curriculum and service-learning projects to conservation campaigns and new construction strategies that save energy and produce less waste,” said Dr. Gwen E. Gross, IUSD’s superintendent of schools. “We are so proud of our staff and our students for leading the charge, and we are thrilled to be able to share our practices with industry leaders and community members at our newest ‘green’ school, Stonegate Elementary.”

Mike Parham, a member of the IUSD Board of Education, will lead the keynote presentation along with Dr. Gross and Mark Sontag, the district’s coordinator of math and science. The hour-long presentation will focus on the district’s comprehensive sustainability plan, its ambitious plans to install energy-generating solar panels at approximately 20 sites and the development of curriculum on sustainable energy, featuring lessons on solar power, wind turbines, biomass and hydrogen fuel cells.

Visitors will also get an opportunity to participate in student-conducted tours of Stonegate Elementary School. The campus, which opened in 2009, boasts a number of environmentally friendly features, including inverted-pyramid skylights to minimize the need for electric light, a “cool roof” made with reflective materials that absorb less heat, an air-conditioning system that powers off when exterior classroom doors are opened, waterless urinals for boys, dual-flush toilets and recyclable carpeting.

Tickets to the event are $25 for members of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Orange County Chapter and $40 for nonmembers. IUSD students and their families may attend for free with an event flyer, though all guests are encouraged to RSVP to Vicki Phillipy at (714) 832-3616 or vphillipy@usgbc-oc.org.