LEED O+M: Existing Buildings v3 - LEED 2009
Adlai E Stevenson High School
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
LEED Gold 2011
"As a school with the mission of being a professional learning community, we wanted to integrate the LEED process into our curriculum and also involve the students"
Adlai E. Stevenson High School is a nationally-recognized public high school with a focus on college preparation, and top-ranking academic programs and results. The original school building first opened in 1965 as the only school in the newly formed District 125with 465 students, and grew to 4,600 students in 2006. Stevenson High School was built to serve the growing northern Chicago suburbs of Lincolnshire, Prairie View, Long Grove, Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills, and Hawthorne Woods. The facility has expanded over the years as the community's population has grown, and now accommodates a student population of over 4,000. Multiple additions to the original building were constructed between 1970 and 2008 to accommodate this growth, and many spaces within the older portions of the building have been renovated in recent years. Now, at 833,000 square feet, the school building is comprised of two wings, referred to as West Building and East Building, which are connected and operated as one.
Over the years, there were six major and six minor construction projects, each of which was based on the standards and technology of the time. The complexities of these multiple systems were difficult to manage and to expect high levels of performance from. Fortunately, as the school grew and educational needs changed, expansion, remodeling and infrastructure upgrades were made at end-of-life or when paybacks were reasonable.
District 125 established Stevenson's Green Committee during August 2007 to formalize and provide support for campaigns aimed at reducing the school's environmental footprint. Members represent all populations of building users: students, teachers, administration, facilities staff, plant operators, and community and school board members. Operational initiatives such as increased recycling, paper reduction, and purchasing analysis were implemented. Recent demonstration-scale installations include green roof areas, daylighting controls, photovoltaic panels, and a solar thermal array. Interior renovation projects have been undertaken with a sustainability focus. Efforts at increasing literacy around sustainability and the environment are key to the Green Committee's efforts and support the District's Green Initiative Mission: To "promote life-long learning for students, staff, and community members to enable effective decision-making in the use and preservation of natural resources."
The pursuit of LEED certification was a decision of District 125's board and was seen as an opportunity to benchmark the school's operations on a national level. Initially, LEED certification was seen as a way to gain recognition for the initiatives already in place, but the process quickly provided much more.
Stevenson High School's 75-acre property features two stormwater retention ponds, athletic fields, tennis courts, an outdoor stadium with artificial turf playing field, and parking for 1100 cars. All turf and athletic field irrigation water is drawn from the retention ponds. Retention ponds are surrounded with native prairie species plantings which provide habitat for birds and insects, and double as a learning lab for students. In addition to the school building, the site includes several small buildings not included in the LEED certification: a district office building and a grounds maintenance building.