By Celis Brisbin, Programs Manager

Green School Environmental Treasures Tour of Quincy High School


Saturday, October 24, 2015 marked the Green School Environmental Treasures Tour of Quincy High School, a collaborative effort sponsored by the City’s Park Dept.'s Environmental Treasures Program, Planning & Public Buildings Depts. and Quincy Public Schools. There were forty-six attendees, including members of the general public and Quincy Climate Action Network, the school’s Principal, teachers, and members of the student Green Team, the Superintendent of Schools, the City's Energy and Sustainability Director, and representatives of the Park and Planning Departments. The project was made possible by the support of Eversource Energy. 


Led by Alex Pitkin and Matt Rice of Symmes Maini, and McKee, two of the architects who designed the building, the tour featured the school’s green design features, including the building’s rooftop photovoltaic array, which spurred discussion of the growing potential for solar as a renewable home-energy source. The school's sustainability club – The Green Team QHS – shared their efforts to obtain a hydration system for use by both students and staff to drastically reduce the use of plastic water bottles. (Please see attached proposal.) Participants also toured the Arts wing, featuring displays of student eco-design projects, such as an upcycled bottle cap dress, and the STEM wing’s green
house, one component of the school’s aim to develop a closed loop system in which Culinary students recycle food waste from the cafeteria and open-to-the public cafe to make compost for the greenhouse. 


Built in 2010, many attendees had never toured the school and were amazed by the beauty and thoughtfulness of the building’s design aimed at enhancing a collaborative cross-disciplinary curriculum, innovative green features, and life cycle analysis the architects used in selecting sustainable materials. Participants were particularly impressed that freshman students are encouraged to try out each of the technical programs before deciding on a major and several commented that they wished they could go back to high school!


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