Brighton, N.Y. –The Harley School broke ground Monday on a new building dedicated to environmental education and sustainability.
The $3 million project features a state-of-the-art “living building” called “Chesonis Commons.”
It will be home to three new educational resources at the school, including the Briggs Center for Civic Engagement, Center for Mindfulness and Empathy Education, and a state-of-the-art Science Center.
It will be the first K-12 education space in the country to offer students multiple dimensions of education around creating a sustainable future.
The structure will generate its own energy, heat and cool with renewable nontoxic resources, capture and utilize water and carbon in its greenhouse, and operate efficiently using students to manage its operations.
The project was paid for with a $1 million gift from the Chesonis Family Foundation, as well as fundraising and donations to The Harley School.
At the ceremony Monday, Arunas Chesonis, CEO of Streetwater Energy said, “At the end of the day our world is going to be a different place 100 years from now. And the sooner kids and their parents learn about that and can teach it, not just in their own school but with their colleagues in the city and the rest of the country, I think it's gonna give us a head start."
Chesonis Commons is expected to be complete by September 2013.