GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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June 14, 2010

ME school hailed for 'green' work

MANCHESTER — The Manchester Essex Regional High School green team — led by Eric Magers, a foreign language teacher — want their facility to stand as the "greenest school in America."

And that designation has nothing to do with the school's official colors.

The school has received a state "Green Difference" award that placed them in the state's top three green schools and Marcia O'Neil, Manchester Essex Regional School District superintendent, will recognize their efforts at Tuesday night's School Committee meeting.

Robin Organ — director of Greenschools, a Massachusetts non-profit organization dedicated to creating healthier and more environmentally considerate school facilities — presented the award, recognizing MERHS's efficient design, recycling, composting and waste reduction programs.

The school received the award last month after implementing its green-team initiative a year earlier. Magers, Scott Morrison, MERHS's curriculum director, and Jeff Carovillano, received the honor at the Genzyme building in Cambridge, an ecologically conscious building in its own right.

Sarah Creighton, school building committee chairwoman, said the $49 million school facility received the highest level of pre-certification under the Massachusetts high performance schools program.

The facility requires efficient lighting, air quality controls, efficient materials and conserve materials, resources and energy. The new high-school also maximized the National Grid and Keyspan utility rebates.

The school's construction, Creighton noted, includes high-efficiency lighting that dims depending on sunlight, low-flow faucets and toilets, a 30kw photovoltaic (solar) power system that provides 40,000 kilowatt hours of clean electricity. Morrison mentioned that district received a new start along with the new building.

"It's not just the construction," said Paul Murphy, MERHS assistant principal. "It's the people inside."

In conjunction with the environmentally sound design, the high school created a "green team" of committed students and faculty one year ago.

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