'A proud achievement': Mount Prospect district celebrates school of the future

  • Kindergartner Ireley Johnson, 5, races up and down the new gymnasium floor Wednesday at Prairie Trails School in Mount Prospect, after an official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the renovated facility.

    Kindergartner Ireley Johnson, 5, races up and down the new gymnasium floor Wednesday at Prairie Trails School in Mount Prospect, after an official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the renovated facility. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Kids try out the new playground equipment behind Prairie Trails School in Mount Prospect.

    Kids try out the new playground equipment behind Prairie Trails School in Mount Prospect. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Zoe Krupinski, 4, who is going into preschool, checks out the space where the students can store their gear at the newly renovated Prairie Trails School in Mount Prospect on Wednesday.

    Zoe Krupinski, 4, who is going into preschool, checks out the space where the students can store their gear at the newly renovated Prairie Trails School in Mount Prospect on Wednesday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Officials from River trails Elementary School District 26 were joined by elected leaders, parents and students for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday at the newly renovated Prairie Trails School in Mount Prospect.

    Officials from River trails Elementary School District 26 were joined by elected leaders, parents and students for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday at the newly renovated Prairie Trails School in Mount Prospect. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Christian Fernandez, 5, who is going to be in kindergarten at Prairie Trails School in Mount Prospect, talks with Principal Amy Veytsman on Wednesday, after a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of renovations at the school.

    Christian Fernandez, 5, who is going to be in kindergarten at Prairie Trails School in Mount Prospect, talks with Principal Amy Veytsman on Wednesday, after a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of renovations at the school. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 8/12/2021 6:25 AM

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.

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