The Baltimore County (Maryland) district has broken ground on what is being billed as the state's first net-zero-energy elementary school.
WYPR Radio reports that the new Deer Park Elementary School, set to open in 2025 in Owings Mills, will replace the existing Deer Park, which opened 63 years ago. It is being built in a vacant field adjacent to the existing campus.
Superintendent Myriam Rogers said the $70.6 million school will serve as a leading example for state environmental efforts, by producing and saving as much – or more – energy than it uses each year.
“You will see solar paneling on the roof, geothermal heating in the boiler room, smart technology that monitors when lights are on and off and when electric plugs can be used,” Rogers said. “I’m especially interested in seeing the school's light tubes, which will be used to import natural sunlight to use in classrooms instead of artificial lighting.”
The new school will also alleviate enrollment pressures in a rapidly growing community, Rogers said. School capacity will increase from 431 to 735 seats, and the facility will have 40,000 square feet more than the existing school.