Mansfield will have the first net-zero energy public school in Connecticut after a 2-1 vote Tuesday, Kathleen Wards, chair of the Board of Education and School Building Committee member, said.
The Daily Campus reported the successful results for question one on the Mansfield ballot, “Shall the Town of Mansfield appropriate $50,512,000 for costs with respect to the design, construction, equipping and furnishing of a Pre-K through grade 4 elementary school to be located on town-owned property at 134 Warrenville Road in Mansfield, and the demolition of the existing southeast elementary school, and authorize the issue of bonds and notes to finance the portion of the appropriation not defrayed from grants?”
According to Wards, the plan is to open the new school in August 2022.
“[The new school will] bring together all of our kids and form a sense of community while providing more opportunities for child centered learning,” Wards said.
Wards also said the new school will offer higher quality education and more collaboration.
“Along with sustainability, the new building will afford our kids the opportunity to receive a high quality education in a safe and healthy building. Flexible, comfortable learning spaces [will] be available for individual work or collaborative group work,” Wards said. “We can now have dedicated spaces for special services, related arts activities and outdoor learning spaces that connect our classrooms to the environment. Spaces will also be designed for teacher collaboration, which is critical for effective teaching and learning.”
The school building committee is in the process of selecting an architect for the final building design, Wards said. Once they determine their architect, they can finalize the design and begin construction.
According to the “One New School: Yes!” website, the net-zero school will be able to generate a high percentage of the energy it consumes. The building will have solar panels, geothermal wells and other features to reduce energy use.
Wards said she hopes the net-zero school will become a model for future schools.
“Our community understands the need to address climate change issues,” Wards said.
The Southeast School will eventually be demolished, but the site selected to build the new school will allow the school to stay open during construction, Wards said. Mansfield now has to complete a comprehensive study of all town facilities to determine what to do with the Goodwin and Vinto school buildings. They will have three years to make those decisions.
“I am so grateful to the voters in the Town of Mansfield who put their faith in the recommendations of the Board of Education, the School Building Committee and the Town Council,” Bacon said. “Our elected officials along with the School Building Committee worked incredibly hard to present the voters with the best possible proposal for elementary school education in town.”
Rachel Philipson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.