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GCA Honorable Mention (Sustainability) K-12 School Districts: Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Dec. 1, 2014
Virginia Beach City Public Schools built the state’s first LEED-certified elementary school, but yet the staff was still using cleaning practices that did not match the environmental consciousness of the school’s architecture. In 2007, students, teachers, administrators and parents collaborated to change that.

Program Information

Total number of students: 69,848

Total square footage maintained: 10,250,000

Total number of custodians: 720

Total annual cleaning budget: $1,742,106

Green cleaning team members: Dale Holt, Chief Operations Officer, Division Services; James Kerekesh, Area Supervisor; Michael Kenon, Area Supervisor; Birsch Industries Community Group; Tim Cole, Sustainable Coordinator

Virginia Beach City Public Schools built the state’s first LEED-certified elementary school, but yet the staff was still using cleaning practices that did not match the environmental consciousness of the school’s architecture. In 2007, students, teachers, administrators and parents collaborated to change that, and by the end of 2009, green cleaning chemical and procedures were fully integrated across the school district. It didn’t take long to reap the benefits. The school nurse at the school, Hermitage Elementary, told the media in 2009 that they no longer had respiratory-related ambulance calls.

The division started with Hermitage, but it is now working on its ninth LEED building and its green cleaning program is viewed as an integral part of the creating a 21st Century learning environment.

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