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Students from Brock’s Gap Earthsavers/Science Club pictured with Mayor Gary Ivey accepting a plaque for participation in the Planet Projects: Jonathan Dinkel, Tyler Kaiser with Sara the Beagle, Abby Richardson, Lauren Hines and Emma Hines.
Brocks Gap Intermediate School in Hoover City Schools is a new school, but its building is all too familiar to many in the community. In an effort to alleviate overcrowding, the city system implemented a building realignment and “recyclabuilding” plan.
At the heart of the plan was a new intermediate school that was recycled from the old R. F. Bumpus Middle School. The three-story building sits on 25 acres in the middle of the Lake Cyrus neighborhood and houses over 800 fifth- and six-grade students. Daylighting is an important component of the school’s design. The lunchroom is designed to use natural light to illuminate its space as a way to reduce reliance on electric lighting during daylight hours.
In February, the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) announced Brock’s Gap as one of the state’s 2014 Green Ribbon Schools. The schools are honored for their approach to creating "green" environments through reducing environmental impact, promoting health, and ensuring a high-quality environmental and outdoor education.
This month, Acting Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Mike Boots joined U.S. Secretary of Education (USDE) Arne Duncan to announce that Brock’s Gap is also among the 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Awardees.
“To be selected as a national Green Ribbon School is an honor. We are so proud of the schools that diligently work to provide a healthy environment for our students,” said Dr. Tommy Bice, State Superintendent of Education.
At Brock’s Gap, administrators and stakeholders realize that simple efficiency measures in the use of technology are needed to save energy, resources and the environment. As existing hardware wears out, the school is planning to replace its desktop computers with hand-held personal devices, which function without hard drives with processing done by servers. They use less energy and consequently emit less heat, which, in a room of 30 or more machines, has the effect of lessening air-conditioning costs from kick-on systems.
Despite changing budgets, Brock’s Gap has been improving school meals and working to teach students to make healthy choices in school and at home. The school is making kid favorites using leaner meats, whole grain ingredients and less sodium or added sugar. All food in Hoover City schools is baked or steamed, never fried.
Students are encouraged to try more fresh produce through fruit and vegetable taste tests, Farm-to-School programs, salad bars, school gardens and kids cooking competitions. All students and grade levels participate in a minimum of 120 minutes of scheduled physical education a week.
Brock’s Gap will receive State Board of Education recognition at the May 14 meeting. The national recognition events begin on July 22.
– From hoovercityschools.net