When Northside Elementary opens its doors this fall, it will show off a number of green features while also embracing the site’s distinct history.
The school, built to alleviate overcrowding in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, will have a rooftop garden, an electronic dashboard to track electricity and water consumption, and natural sunlight in every classroom.
Northside Elementary will return to the site that previously housed the Orange County Training School, an all black-school, in the early 1900s.
The school is still under construction, but Ashley Dennis, the site’s project manager, said everything is going smoothly.
“Some of the exciting things that we have at this school include a green roof off the science classroom,” she said. “And solar tubes which … bring light down to all the lower levels of the classrooms from up above.”
Starting fresh, going green
Dennis said there was a huge push to go green so that the three-story school could cut down on future heating and cooling costs.
She said the sky lights will bring down electricity costs, because on a sunny day they will serve as an alternative to lights.
“We’re using a lot of bamboo on the gym floor, reception desk and display cases,” she said. “We’re using a material that is readily renewable versus something that takes a long time to grow.”
Dennis said many of the environmentally friendly features will be used as teaching tools. She said her favorite feature is the interactive touchscreen dashboard.