Project Info

Size93,284 sq ft

The Lake Mills Area School District’s mission is to inspire their students to be responsible citizens with integrity and life-long learners. The goal of the project was to create a healthy, high-performance, 21st century learning environment. The Lake Mills Elementary School (LMES) project drivers included: providing academic excellence, enhancing the relationship with the community, improving the environment/aesthetics, improving security and safety, creating a cost-effective/practical, and sustainable solution.

LMES was the first K-12 school in the nation to achieve Platinum LEED v4 certification, earning 80 out of 110 points. It received the US Department of Education’s Green Ribbon and the Wisconsin DNR Green & Healthy Schools Sugar Maple award. These awards are a testament to the District’s commitment to their mission and successfully achieving the project goals and drivers. Delivered via an integrative design-build process, the team holistically worked together to deliver a cost-effective ($200/sf), two-story, flexible, 93,284-square-foot learning environment that serves 650 students.

Built on the existing elementary school site in the center of a residential neighborhood, it encourages alternative transportation by providing bicycle racks, encourages exercise by via a two-station gymnasium for the community’s Park and Recreation Program, on-site walking trails and 119,430 square feet of athletic and playground areas, enhances safety via a separate parent drop-off and bussing areas and state-of-the art security system, and enhances the environment by promoting rainwater infiltration via bioswales and restoring 129,920 square feet of native/adaptive vegetation.

Green features include a vegetated green roof, photovoltaic system, solar hot water system, operable windows, GreenGuard furnishings, and a web-based eco-screen that have become more than just building elements; they’ve also become educational tools, providing hands-on learning opportunities for the teachers, students and the community. To further assist in promoting environmental education, 100 percent of the teachers earned credentials as Green Classroom Professionals.

Design strategies not only enable to school to reduce energy consumption 65 percent and water 37 percent, but more importantly have resulted in a 75 percent reduction in recorded asthma and allergy incidents, a 15 percent reduction in absenteeism, and a 425 percent decrease in the number of communicable diseases. Additionally, nearly all standardized tests in science, social studies, reading and math across all grade levels have improved. These significant findings attest to the impact the built environment has on the health and well-being of the staff and students, which is the ultimate triumph of sustainability.

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Case Study: Lake Mills Elementary School

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