April 29, 2013.
Wilson High School in Ward 3 was named a 2013 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School today by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Only 63 other schools across the country received the distinction. Schools named today were chosen for their efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways.
“I’m so proud that another District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) received this prestigious, environmentally-conscious recognition,” said DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “Being good environmental stewards and being green is an integral part of being a Wilson Tiger.”
Wilson High School features two green roofs and 30,000-gallon storm water tanks. A 75-year-old coal- and oil-burning three-story power plant was converted into a highly efficient smaller-scale natural-gas power system that saved so much space that the school was able to convert one story into a state of the art fitness center, now called “The Power House.” Among the many green elements and achievements at Wilson is a 74 percent reduction in water use with the redesign.
The most dramatic transformative feature of the modernized campus is the atrium of the core academic building. The original building had an 11,000-square-foot open-air doughnut hole in the middle that was dead space. It’s only purpose was to provide air circulation from the sweltering climate between May and September. A spectacular customized concave glass roof was installed, creating the Atrium, which has become the centerpiece of the school and a beautiful event space. In keeping with LEED criteria, The Atrium is bathed in natural light, and has fantastic acoustical treatments and a sophisticated directional sound system.
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