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New Tarpon Springs Elementary in a whole new class

Students will be walking into the future when the doors of the new Tarpon Springs Elementary School open this fall, builders say.

And that future is green.

The school — along with Tyrone Elementary in St. Petersburg, which is also under construction — will become Pinellas County's first environmentally-friendly schools, pending certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The council provides Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, designations for buildings that meet a lengthy set of environmentally-responsible standards.

At Tarpon Springs, that means low-flow plumbing fixtures, nontoxic building materials, sensors that automatically turn off lights to conserve energy, high-efficiency heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems and Florida native landscaping irrigated with reclaimed water, said project manager Joe Primiani, of Creative Contractors.

The facility will have 40 classrooms with Smartboards, which replace traditional chalkboards and allow teachers to communicate through laptop computers.

The school will also have music and art labs, a media center, amphitheater, playground, nature trail and an outdoor learning center with wireless Internet.

$22M-24M



Construction cost

110,000

square feet. Total size of facility

3,500

cubic yards of concrete used in construction.

250

tons of steel used in

construction.

1,600



gallons of paint used.

17

months of construction, including demolition.

84

percent of construction waste was recycled.

>>Fast facts

LEED building

The U.S. Green Building Council provides Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, designations for buildings that meet a lengthy set of environmentally-responsible standards.

>>Fast facts

Native greenery

Florida native trees and shrubs used include live oak, turkey oak, southern magnolia, crape myrtle, river birch, sabal palm, winged elm, slash pines, beautyberry, fire brush, wild coffee, lady palm, saw palmetto, Schilling's dwarf, and lorapetalum.

New Tarpon Springs Elementary in a whole new class 05/27/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 4:07pm]
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