|By Dianne Weaver|
Berkeley County will soon be the location of West Virginia's first "green school," according to Dr. Mark Manchin, the executive director of the School Building Authority.
The proposed Spring Mills Elementary School is to be more cost efficient to run and more self-sustaining and environmentally friendly.
"Energy efficiency is something we're all concerned about, not only that but the environment and how children learn," Manchin said.
The state's costly consolidated schools, built to the SBA's specs have been expensive structures to operate, included closed heating and cooling systems, that have to operate 24/7.
"Most of the new schools have been built with little consideration on costs of operation," said Challenge WV coordinator Thomas Ramey.
"Has Manchin seen the light?" Ramey asked, acknowledging the practical use of natural light, minimizing the need for electrical power to light a classroom.
"We anticipate anywhere from 30 to 40 percent in costs savings over a ten-year period." said Manchin, "Which is considerable when you look at the cost it takes to light and heat those schools."
Ramey asked, "Can you imagine what savings that could have been to the state's taxpayers while the SBA has spent millions and millions?"