North Penn students urge board to take the ‘LEED’ on high school renovations Dan Sokil Sustainability & LEED

TOWAMENCIN — With the future of North Penn High School now being planned, the school’s current students are looking for ways the future school could take the LEED.

Members of the high school’s EnAct (Environmental Action) club gave an update on green-friendly tactics that could help the high school achieve LEED status, or higher, once renovated.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The high school is over 50 years old, and the future is fast approaching. Sustainability is the future, and the solution to the problems that threaten our future,” said EnAct cabinet member Natalia Dello Buono.

Staff, the school board, and the district’s architect have discussed major renovations of the high school for the past decade, making the case most recently in a pair of presentations outlining the high school’s recent equipment failures in February, followed in March by a look at costs for two options, one that would add a new ninth grade wing of the school and include middle school renovations at an estimated price tag of roughly $400 million, and a smaller project to update the high school without a new wing for roughly $236 million.

Proposed “Option One” for a renovated North Penn High School with new classroom space for ninth grade students highlighted in red, as presented to the district’s school board on May 13, 2023. (Image courtesy of NPSD)

Last August students from the EnAct club told the board about green features they felt the new school could incorporate, including sustainable building materials, permeable pavement surfaces to reduce runoff, green roofs atop the building to better absorb rainwater, and composting in the school cafeteria to reduce food waste.

How to qualify

Since then, club members told the board’s facilities and operations committee on March 27, members of that club have met with the district’s architect to talk about possible designs, and dug into ways the new high school could qualify for LEED status, under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification program by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“Following the framework provided would help us achieve our, and LEED’s …


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