Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove Village, Ill., has received LEED Silver certification for its environmentally friendly operation and maintenance of the campus.
The Daily Herald reports that the school was awarded the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver certification for its building energy use and processes and procedures put in place to reduce the building's environmental impact.
"For the operations and maintenance department, this award is on par with the Blue Ribbon award for the instructional side," says Ted Birren, director of operations for High School District 214.
Some 2,000 schools nationwide have received LEED certification, many for new construction. Only a few have received the certification for operations and maintenance.
Birren says District 214 officials submitted detailed information about the high school's operation, such as how much trash versus recycling is collected, what kind of mowers cut grass on campus, and what procedures are used by custodians to clean classrooms.
District 214 officials are now working to get the same designation for their five other high schools and the Forest View Administration Center—a process that involves about two years of data measurement and reporting followed by a year of auditing and verification.
The district has many of the same green practices from school to school, so administrators believe all buildings have a good chance at becoming certified. Birren says Elk Grove was the first to seek LEED certification because it's the most recent fully remodeled building in the district and records were more readily available.