River Trails School District 26 will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for its newly renovated kindergarten and pre-kindergarten building, Prairie Trails School, on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at 10 a.m. The event will be open to the public and will serve as an official introduction of the school to the community ahead of its opening to students for the 2021-22 school year.
Prairie Trails School is a net-zero energy building, which allowed the district to be awarded a $2,000,000 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to help fund the project. The building is the first net-zero energy facility in Mount Prospect, in addition to being the first renovated school in the state to achieve the environmentally-friendly classification. It is in line with ongoing sustainability efforts that resulted in recognition by the Department of Energy for the district’s participation in the “Better Buildings” initiative.
“This is a proud achievement for our district and allows us to accomplish several goals,” River Trails School District 26 Superintendent Nancy Wagner said. “Not only does it create a better learning environment for our students, it also helps us to teach them about the importance of protecting the environment. In addition, moving our kindergarteners into one building will create more space in our other schools. Completing this project during the pandemic and without a referendum is a credit to many in the district and community. We are eager to celebrate and exhibit all that hard work.”
Prairie Trails features 10 kindergarten and four pre-kindergarten classrooms, intentionally designed with the district’s youngest learners in mind. The building, both indoor and out, supports an integrated curriculum bringing science, technology, nature and sustainability to life. Additionally, it holds the district’s administrative offices in a reduced space.
The sustainability elements, including solar panels and a new efficient heating and cooling system, are expected to save more than $32,000 per year in annual gas and electricity costs while offering optimized indoor air quality and reliable energy efficient performance. The building will also feature several educational displays to help students understand the unique aspects of the school.
The ribbon cutting event will include a ceremony with remarks from district leaders and other honored guests. That will be followed by tours of the building.