The sustainability movement at College Prep has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years.
We recently installed a photovoltaic system on the roof of our gym that now supplies 20% of the school’s electricity needs. We have an organic garden, fertilized with compost collected by students involved in our composting program. The garden provides fresh produce used for meals that students prepare and deliver to local homeless shelters. The plants growing in our garden are pollinated by the bees in our campus beehive, and profits earned through honey sales will be used to plant drought resistant native plants in peripheral regions of the campus. We have an active and constantly improving recycling program, and we are making slow but steady progress towards reducing our transportation footprint. Our work in this area is increasingly incorporated into what we do in the classroom, and the Green Council is actively working on ways to bring ecological intelligence into the school curriculum across all disciplines.
We have recently partnered in our sustainability efforts with Ratcliff Architects, who are designing the new buildings proposed in our CUP application. Ratcliff has a record of strong commitment to helping campuses improve environmental friendliness not only through green building design, but in overall school operation. The firm recently worked with College Prep to do a thorough energy and water audit, and organized a meeting called an eco-charette in November that brought stakeholders from throughout the community together to brainstorm our sustainability visions and priorities. One outcome of the eco-charette was a strong consensual agreement that it is the responsibility of the campus community to improve the health and balance of our local ecosystem, and we began the process of considering how to do so in the areas of energy efficiency, water use, transportation, and waste.
College Prep and Ratcliff Architects share the realization that buildings can do more than serve as backdrops for the rich learning activities that take place within; buildings themselves can teach. A building, simply by the nature of its design, can be used as a concrete symbol of learning. A building designed on the premise of our link to, and interdependency with, natural systems is a statement of our respect for the environment and of our accepting responsibility to care for the environment through deliberate and thoughtful design decisions. Through our partnership with Ratcliff, College Prep students and faculty will have the opportunity to learn firsthand how the basic elements of green building design can be creatively integrated to create spaces that consciously optimize land, energy and water use.
Find out more about what we've done to improve our environmental footprint and increase ecoliteracy on campus: