The Lower Dauphin School District approached EI Associates to expand and renovate the Conewago Elementary School. The project included 70,000 square feet of new building with 11,400 square feet of renovated existing building. The design has obtained LEED® Gold Certification and demonstrates the benefits as well as promotes awareness of responsible Green Building Design.
The name of the Elementary School, Conewago, is borrowed from the Iroquois word meaning “at the place of the rapids”, referring to rapids located nearby on the Susquehanna River. The School’s namesake has been incorporated into the new building lobby by means of a water wall, which will remind students of the importance of water as a natural resource. The project also incorporated a grey water-collection system, which will supply the school’s public toilets with recycled rainwater.
Light pollution on the exterior of the building is reduced with the use of LED luminaries, which lasts longer and takes less energy to light than traditional fixtures. Occupant comfort is controlled by using high-efficiency geothermal heat pumps and this with the rest of the building systems will be controlled via a web based, automated building control system. The building features will also be monitored by students via a building dashboard mounted in the lobby, allowing them to view in real time the usage and output of these systems, such as the demonstrational wind turbine.
Included in this project was an extensive reorganization of the school grounds, providing separate vehicular access for cars and school busses and an upgrade to the play fields.