Sustainability key in new school designs

The Mercer Island School District, Mahlum Architects and Integrus Architecture will host a community listening session on potential sustainability practices in district buildings on Dec. 9 from 6 until 9 p.m. at Islander Middle School.

“We are committed to effectively using the dollars we have to make our district practices more sustainable, efficient and affordable,” said MISD Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano in a press release. “There is a lot that can be done these days around sustainability practices in buildings. We want to talk to the community about what their specific priorities in sustainability are.”

Architects will present a list of sustainable options discussed during the development of the educational specifications for each of the projects and take community input concerning other ideas and values around sustainability.

“Several ideas we are considering based on feedback we have already received include utilizing natural site features and low-impact development, rain gardens and bio-swales, energy efficient mechanical, plumbing and lighting systems, geothermal heating and photovoltaic panels,” schools official Dean Mack said in the release. “We’re also going to plan ahead to make sure there can be shared use of the facilities in the community to maximize utilization and value.”

The shared values, insights and comments from the listening session will be part of the final designs of the three overcrowding solutions included in the bond proposition Islanders will vote on in the Feb. 11, 2014 special election.

Mahlum is leading the design and development for the proposed fourth elementary school and Mercer Island High School addition, while Integrus is the lead for the Islander Middle School expansion. Both teams will be present at the listening session with MISD staff.


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