Western Wayne School District's EverGreen Elementary School
The EverGreen Elementary School is the crown jewel of the Western Wayne School District. This 104,000 square foot facility opened its doors to students in the fall of 2011 beginning a new chapter in the District’s history with a particular focus on the environment and conservation. Aptly named, the school was built as a “green” building and includes among its many environmentally friendly features a geothermal heating and cooling system, a tidal wetland wastewater treatment facility called the “Living Machine”, and numerous other environmentally friendly and energy saving features. Our vision for this building, considering its progressive design and unique construction, is for it to be a teaching tool for our students and the entire community. The following paragraphs describe some of the environmentally friendly features of EverGreen in more detail including a look at wastewater treatment, heating and cooling, and other energy saving devices.
The EverGreen Elementary School is among the first schools in Pennsylvania to employ the “Living Machine” as a wastewater treatment option. The Living Machine uses the concepts associated with the workings of tidal wetlands to treat wastewater. There are six cells, each of which is flooded and drained in sequence. As the cells flood and drain, the wastewater comes in contact with bacteria that break down waste. At the end of the process the treated water is nearly potable. Interestingly, half of the treated wastewater from the Living Machine is pumped back into the building to flush toilets thereby saving water and decreasing costs.
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EverGreen also takes advantage of the constant temperature of the earth to heat and cool its 104,000 square foot area. Although the geothermal heating and cooling systems still require traditional electrical energy, it takes much less energy to heat and cool when you begin each process with a constant 55 degree Fahrenheit starting point. The cost savings of the geothermal system relative to heating and cooling the building in a more traditional manner well outpace the initial costs of geothermal installation over time, thus making this system a worthy investment from fiscal and environmental perspectives.
Finally, EverGreen takes advantage of a multitude of energy saving devices; however, there are three devices that stand out. First, all of the lights are on motion sensors and automatically turn on and off based on occupancy. Second, the windows on the south side of the building take advantage of light shelves that direct natural sunlight into classrooms to cut back on traditional lighting costs. Finally, there are light tubes in the cafeteria and gymnasium that act to accentuate the natural sunlight so that we can save on traditional lighting costs. These lighting features are yet another example of how the District saves money on energy costs.
As you can see, the EverGreen Elementary School certainly lives up to its name. The previous paragraphs describe only a few of the many environmentally friendly features the school has to offer. The Western Wayne School District is proud of EverGreen and we encourage anyone who may be interested in touring the facility to learn more to contact us at 1-800-321-9973, option 5.