With the completion of the New Albany-Plain School District’s new 1-8 school and the arrival of warmer weather, students and staff will soon have an opportunity to explore the district’s newest learning lab, located on the school’s roof.

“New Albany-Plain Local Schools has a long-tradition of incorporating environmental stewardship as a major interdisciplinary strand in our district’s K-12 Course of Study,” said Michael Sawyers, Chief of Operations and Strategic Development. “From our Nature Preserve, incorporating Rose Run Stream and Swickard Woods, to our innovative summer camps and trips, teachers, students and community members use the nature preserve to learn through hands-on, inquiry-based and authentic experiences.”

To keep this vision growing, district leaders and community members through the design process chose to incorporate the LiveRoof® Hybrid System (https://liveroof.com) and a greenhouse into the plans for the new school building as it was designed in 2013.  The 2500-square foot garden was designed by the architectural firm Moody Nolan and installed by Meade Construction.  The living roof features native plants grown by Corso’s Perennials.

“I think the living roof is an excellent way for students to develop an understanding of energy conservation,” said District Environmental Science Coordinator Sandra Willmore, who was named a 2014 Outstanding Green Educator/Program Director by Green Schools. “For example, I envision teaching students how pioneers also used living roofs, or sod homes, because they were well-insulated.  The same insulating value is true for our new school.”

The planted roof will also provide opportunities to explore native plants and conduct soil testing, Willmore added.