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Thursday, June 10, 2010

MHS Building Committee: Boost Scores, Build Windows!

KJAM reports that the Madison Central School District building and facilities committee continues to work on its plan for renovating the high school. As the committee looks at ways to make the high school a better learning space, I hope they will take time to look at a couple of articles from Reimagine Rural on the benefits of green renovation.

Morgan Andenas, Howard High School graduate, offers some useful points on the benefits of green renovation: more windows, better air flow and natural light, energy efficiency, and so on. She doesn't spend a lot of time talking about saving the planet. Andenas's main argument for green renovation is the business case for schools: bring your school up to green snuff, and you will get better outputs (smarter, happier, healthier kids) with fewer inputs (reduced energy and water usage).

Among the practical benefits, she cites data that finds "student performance increases 5–10% when they have views out of windows." Windows!

Over the years, a number of Madison High School classrooms (E-wing, H-wing) have lost their windows to additions. The few remaining windows look more like castle loopholes from which Principal Knowlton could fend off marauding bloggers with bow and arrow. A restoration of natural light and airflow wherever possible would give morale, health, and maybe even grades a boost. MHS, let's round up a sledgehammer subcommittee and bust out some brick!

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