Sure, the Lady Bird Johnson Middle School in Irving, Texas, is projected to be the nation’s largest net zero junior high school–but a new sustainable development in South Boston is aiming to be home to the first net zero urban school in the nation.
Developer Ted Hillery, president of The Hillery Holdings Company, aims to renovate the buildings at 205 E Street–formerly home to St. Augustine, a Catholic grade school and high school–into a center that will house an environmental academy serving students grades K through 6; a Montessori school to serve students from six weeks to 12 years old; a fine arts school to serve students ages 3 to 14; and a green jobs training program for high school-aged and young adults interested in entering the fields of clean energy, clean technology and environmental science.
The facility would make use of both solar electricity and solar thermal systems, as well as small wind power. More unusual green tech would be part of the mix as well, including a combined heating and powering system fueled by municipal wood waste, and an organic digester, which would convert organic materials (such as food waste and past-prime produce from local grocery stores and restaurants) into electricity and heat to power the buildings.
There’s only one hitch–Terry Hillery is currently seeking the financing necessary to acquire the parcel and close on the property. So far, he’s raised $1.3 million, but more funds are needed to make this vision a reality.