A.W. Beattie Career Center's Green Initiatives Logo

GREEN INITIATIVES PROGRAM: As a responsible member of our community, A.W. Beattie Career Center strives to use green technology in curriculum, in planning, and in practice to ensure a healthy and innovative learning environment for our students. A.W. Beattie Career Center is also dedicated to educating the public on the latest green technologies that are in place at our school. Current green policies, procedures and events for our school will be posted in this section of our website to display our on-going dedication to the latest in green technology.



LEED CERTIFICATION: Upon completion of the construction project, A.W. Beattie Career Center is proud to announce that it is now a LEED Certified Green Building at the Gold level, making A.W. Beattie Career Center the first Career & Technical Education Center in Pennsylvania to acquire such a certification. To achieve this honor, green technologies and practices were used in the planning and remodeling of our building, including

  • locally sourced materials
  • recycled materials
  • solar energy systems
  • alternative transportation options
  • green curriculum in education



Mr. Miller with students at the solar panel. Mr. Hughes with students at the solar thermal trainer. Mr. Brown with students at the photovoltaic trainer.

GREEN TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM: Mr. Miller and Mr. Hughes (HVAC), and Mr. Brown (Carpentry/Building Construction) are working with their students to provide industry exposures to the possibilities students may experience in the construction trades area. A. W. Beattie Career Center through a PDE Equipment Grant has been able to install a solar array training bank on the school property. The classrooms have seen the additions of a solar thermal hot water and lighting unit trainer. The addition of these three industry relevant pieces of equipment provide the authentic experience the students need to be successful in today’s construction industry.



      U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, together with White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, announced that A.W. Beattie Career Center is among 78 schools named U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools during a visit to Stoddert Elementary School, one of D.C.’s two honorees. Pennsylvania is among 29 states and D.C. with schools receiving the first-ever awards.

      “Science and environmental education play a central role in providing children with a well-rounded education that prepares them for the jobs of the future,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate compelling examples of the ways schools can expand their coursework while also helping children build real world skill sets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments.”

      U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) is a federal recognition program that opened in September 2011. Honored schools exercise a comprehensive approach to creating “green” environments through reducing environmental impact, promoting health, and ensuring a high-quality environmental and outdoor education to prepare students with the 21st century skills and sustainability concepts needed in the growing global economy.

      "Schools that take a green approach cut costs on their utility bills, foster healthy and productive classrooms, and prepare students to thrive in the 21st century economy," said Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "These Green Ribbon School award winners are taking outstanding steps to educate tomorrow's environmental leaders, and demonstrating how sustainability and environmental awareness make sense for the health of our students and our country."

      The 78 awarded schools were named winners from among nearly 100 nominees submitted by 30 state education agencies, the District of Columbia and the Bureau of Indian Education. More than 350 schools completed applications to their state education agencies. Among the list of winners are 66 public schools including 8 charters, and 12 private schools composed of 43 elementary, 31 middle and 26 high schools with around 50 percent representing high poverty schools.

      "These Green Ribbon Schools are giving students and educators what they need to maximize learning and minimize risks like asthma and other respiratory illnesses, ensuring that no child is burdened by pollution in or around their school," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "Today's winners are protecting our children's health and opening up environmental education opportunities for students. The EPA is proud to help recognize the Green Ribbon award winners and will continue working to improve the environment of our nation’s schools and helping prepare students to succeed in the emerging green economy.”

      In 2005, A.W. Beattie Career Center, a public school serving students in nine suburban districts north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was one of the first schools to undergo the new Pennsylvania Department of Education review of Career and Technology Centers. Based on recommendations to align the building and programs with the demands for 21st century careers in high priority industries, we began planning for an extensive building renovation and addition project.

      We could have stopped at a traditional expansion and renovation, but our vision for the school was nothing short of transformative. The school, along with community partners, developed a master plan that would not only provide the space, resources and technology to teach our students, but would infuse their education with an understanding and appreciation of best practices in green schools and careers. Thus, we embarked on a journey to transform our career center into a healthy and sustainable place in which to learn and work.

      A.W. Beattie Career Center’s newly enovated facility is a living green and high technology center for students, staff and the community. Throughout the building, signage explains the energy reductions, water savings, waste management and other sustainable features and programs that reduce our impact on the environment. To date, we have demonstrated a 7.6% reduction in non-transportation energy usage, an 11.1% reduction in the school’s total water consumption and a 21% reduction of solid waste. These savings have come from a combination of facility improvements including increased insulation, a white reflective membrane roof, new insulated windows, higher efficiency HVAC equipment, virtual servers, low flow bathroom fixtures, and single stream recycling.

      The career center’s property consists of 43 acres with 87% of the site protected as open space. During our renovation, we protected the habitat by attaching building additions to the original facility, leaving wooded areas intact and restoring vegetation near a stream on campus. In addition, we built a storm water control system that moves the runoff water from the large, flat roof to an underground detention pond located underneath the parking lot. Native plants in our rain garden also help to contain and manage the additional storm water.

      Students enjoy the campus during outdoor activities in physical education classes as well as in career program-related activities. The science students grow herbs and vegetable seedlings in the greenhouse, supplying these plants to faculty members and the school’s culinary program. Inside the building, occupancy-based light sensors, user-controlled environments and outside air sensors, as well as low VOC flooring, paints, adhesives and sealants were used and have been linked to improved student learning and long-term health benefits for all.

      A.W. Beattie’s green technology team strives to increase knowledge about enhanced career opportunities for students and to integrate the sustainable building features into the curriculum. Construction Technologies teachers attended professional development on site with a local solar panel manufacturer for training on the installation and maintenance of solar systems. The curriculum and equipment for solar technologies have been incorporated into these programs and students use the school’s hillside photovoltaic array to learn about grid-tied solar power. Last year our team of student ambassadors developed a green tour to showcase the new and exciting features of our school. This tour has become part of the green curriculum for all students and has been expanded into a multimedia QR bar coded presentation available to school and community members. During the Green Ribbon Schools application process, students were an integral part of the completion by providing feedback regarding the effectiveness of our agenda and planning projects for next year’s green team.

      Through our participation in local, regional and statewide initiatives, A.W. Beattie Career Center has been a key partner in the development of the awareness and definition of green jobs. We continue to update and review curriculum to ensure that our students receive training in the areas where they can most benefit from enhanced opportunities in the green economy. It is our mission to provide instruction in safety, career exploration, portfolio creation, job readiness and green technology. The global commitment to the environment requires citizens to be eco-friendly in their careers. We prepare our students to share their knowledge in the workplace in order to educate the community on this critical need for sustainability.

      The hard work of the project team paid off in 2011 when A.W. Beattie Career Center achieved Gold LEED Certification, the first career center in Pennsylvania to earn this recognition. In fact, A.W. Beattie Career Center has succeeded in reducing the school’s carbon footprint and energy costs, even as we have increased the school’s square footage, resources and technology to meet and even exceed industry standards for each career program. It is our belief that as we continue this journey, A.W. Beattie’s graduates will be leaders in sustainability for our region’s work force and community.

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