NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A middle school on Long Island was recently recognized as one of the greenest in the country.
CBS 2′s Carolyn Gusoff spoke with officials at Hampton Bays Middle School who said that the real prize has been in the classroom.
Hampton Bays Middle School was recognized by the US Department of Education as a fully environmentally friendly school, and officials believe that going green has helped to raise grades as well as environmental awareness.
“I think there is a correlation between being motivated to learn and academic performance,” said Principal Dennis Schug.
State test scores have risen four-percent and attendance is improving as well.
“There is something to it. I have perfect attendance, I haven’t had a sick day since this building opened,” said Kathy Dayton, an art teacher.
Students told CBS that they have seen a change as well.
“At my old school I was probably high 80′s, low 90′s, and now I’m straight A’s,” said 7th grader Jenna Haines.
Administrators credited the school’s new design for improving student well-being. Floors at Hampton Bays follow the natural slope of the land and lights point upward.
“It’s much healthier on the eyes, not creating headaches, and allows kids to focus for longer periods of times,” said Superintendent Lars Clemensen.
Waterless urinals were installed to save water, and large windows were put in to increase natural light and reduce dependency on electricity.
The ‘green campus’ cost the school district $1-million more than a typical school, but officials told CBS 2 that it is making all of that money back in energy savings.
The next green addition to the school will be a lunchroom, leftover, composting program, and the installation of solar panels on the roof.
Hampton Bays Middle School was officially named as a Green Ribbon School by the Department of Education on Monday.
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