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District greens its act to improve student performance

June 16, 2009
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PHOENIX — For the Murphy School District, going green is about more than simply saving money, it is about protecting the health of faculty, students and staff, according to The Arizona Republic.
The district''s new Education and Health Center, built with the help of a $300,000 grant from Rotary International, recently received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the story stated.
Superintendent Paul Mohr, Jr. said: "My district is in one of the toughest and grittiest neighborhoods in Phoenix. We have a documented rising incidence of asthma and pulmonary problems. When I became superintendent five years ago, I saw a need to offer basic health care to our families. I envisioned a new stand-alone facility for wellness and education."
Sustainable aspects of the building include: Photovoltaic solar panels that generate electricity; low-flow fixtures that reduce water consumption by 30 percent; low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, carpet and other building materials; and a diverse landscape incorporating 30 species of indigenous plants, the story noted.
By promoting cleaner, healthier and more environmentally friendly indoor spaces, the Murphy School District hopes to see a student performance increase on math and reading tests, something that LEED-certified buildings have been shown to do, the story added.
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