This past Tuesday, Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT), visited Hillside Middle School in Salt Lake City, a LEED certified school, to award students and faculty with an Energy Star Award for the building’s top energy performance. Matheson was able to see technology that is helping the school to save valuable resources such as energy and water, while keeping operating costs low.
The recently rebuilt school saves money through design features such as a white roof (reflects heat), light sensors and light "shelves" to take advantage of sunlight. It also uses water-saving appliances and landscaping. It is a great demonstration of what a better building can translate into resource savings and reducing taxpayer funds.
“In Utah, where our resources are stretched thin, cost savings are critically important to the bottom line in our local school districts,” said Matheson. “Another benefit, which Hillside Middle School's faculty, parents and students gained, is the opportunity green schools provide kids to learn about designing, engineering and constructing a modern, efficient and attractive school environment."
Matheson is a longtime proponent of energy efficiency and green building. Nearly four years ago, he co-founded the Congressional Green Schools Caucus at the Center for Green Schools to promote the benefits of green schools to state representatives.
Since then, the Caucus has grown to nearly 80 members across the country, and remains active by holding informational briefings on topics such as financing green upgrades in existing buildings and integrating building technology into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
We are glad to see Hillside Middle School’s progress in green building, and Matheson’s continued support of this important issue.