Over the past six years, Halifax County Public Schools has taken appropriate measures to go green, which has continued to receive recognition on the Virginia High School League.

Recently, as part of the VSBA’s Green School Challenge, HCPS received gold certification.

The challenge is a “friendly competition designed to encourage implementation of specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce the carbon emissions generated by both the local school division and the broader community.” This is the eleventh year the awards were given out.

“We’re steadily progressing to going green throughout our entire school system,” said Steve Brumfield, director of operations and maintenance. As someone who’s been with the school system for roughly a year, he’s carried on a lot of environmentally friendly tasks put in place by previous directors of operations and maintenance as well as continued to find new ways to continue to progress.

Some of the specific measures the school has taken to earn points towards this certification include:

w Replacing T12 fluorescent lighting in schools with electronic ballasts and T8 tubes and replaced all lighting in Halifax County High School auditorium with LED bulbs;

w Replaced halide light fixtures in high school gym with T5 high bay fixtures increasing light levels and reducing energy cost;

w Replace lighting in emergency exit signs with LED bulbs;

w Use a building management system to control heating and air conditioning at the high school, Halifax County Middle School and Cluster Springs Elementary School. Brumfield also said South Boston Elementary School will have its controls installed this month.

w Monitoring indoor air quality in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency protocols;

w Using only “green certified” cleaning products throughout the school division;

w Having a school division wide recycling program in place;

w Installed three energy efficient boilers and one hot water tank in at the middle school;

w Replacing diesel usage buses with propane usage buses; and

w School division updates and memos sent out every year at the beginning of the school year to all employees regarding energy conservation.

By implementing these energy-efficient tasks, Brumfield said it provides costs savings in the long run, is a way to continue updating and maintaining equipment and is a way to safeguard students’ health while they’re in the school buildings.

HCPS was one of 18 school divisions recognized as being Certified Green School Divisions.

Moseley Architects and ABM Education sponsored the VSBA Green Schools Challenge.

Ashley Hodge is the editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com

Ashley Hodge is the editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com