'A proud achievement': Mount Prospect district celebrates school of the future
Mount Prospect-based River Trails School District 26 on Wednesday opened what could be aptly described as the school of the future, and not just because it will house the district's youngest students.
The renovated Prairie Trails School, which will educate prekindergarten and kindergarten students, is now a net-zero energy building, meaning the total amount of energy used by the facility annually will be equal to or less than the amount of renewable energy created on-site.
"This is a proud achievement for our district and allows us to accomplish several goals," Superintendent Nancy Wagner said. "Not only does it create a better learning environment for our students, it also helps us to teach them about the importance of protecting the environment.
"In addition, moving our kindergartners into one building will create more space in our other schools. Completing this project during the pandemic and without a referendum is a credit to many in the district and community."
District leaders, elected officials including U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, parents and students checked out the school at 805 N. Burning Bush Lane during an opening celebration and ribbon-cutting Wednesday.
The project, funded in part by a $2 million grant from he Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, created the first net-zero energy facility in Mount Prospect and the first renovated school in the state to achieve the environmentally friendly classification, according to the district.
Sustainability elements include solar panels and a new efficient heating and cooling system that are expected to save more than $32,000 per year in gas and electricity costs.