The Case For Supporting Leed Platinum Projects In Northern California

Green is the new celebrity. Green buildings, green bubbles, green technologies - traditional building practices are by no means a thing of the past, but they will one day be, as the advancement of eco-and environmentally friendly and sustainable designs dominate corporate social agendas and private enterprises. Green is a baby, and it's going to grow.

Many have until recently considered green building a trend - nothing more than a bandwagon to jump on and ride until the next "in" thing takes its place. Such, however, is not the case. Check out the United States Green Building Council for verification. A branch of the USGBC, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) encourages innovation and sustainability in construction projects. LEED rates projects on a points scale (the points differ between types of project - schools, commercial interiors, new construction, existing buildings and core & shell), with different classifications distributed per the points accrued.

There are four LEED certifications: LEED platinum, gold, silver and LEED certified. Since 2002, less than 70 LEED buildings in California have been certified LEED platinum, with just a handful being educational facilities, and most of those are in Southern California. Enter Redding School of the Arts in Redding, CA.

Implications

These projects, the Redding School of the Arts facility and the forthcoming North State Children's Theater, represent innovative creativity and support from the local community. And consider their implications for the great state of California. Supporting these projects will, on a local and statewide level, help reaffirm California as a steward of innovation, of large-scale progressive thinking and a propagator of environmentally friendly design and practice. We will reclaim that title.

Background

In 2006, the Foundation for Promoting Arts Education Board of Directors unanimously agreed to launch a capital campaign for a two-phase school building project. The campaign includes: 1) Redding School of the Arts and 2) The North State Children's Theater Project. The RSA school campus is under construction and will be ready for occupancy in fall of 2011. The overarching goal for this campaign is to have this school meet LEED Platinum sustainability certifications - the highest rating given by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The location of this property will allow RSA the opportunity to build a LEED platinum certified 800 seat North State Children's Theater as Phase 2 of the overall building project. While the school has been funded and is under construction, the North State Children's Theater needs to raise $14 million in funding to open on time. With the programming and conceptual design completed, FPAE will commence construction of the North State Children's Theater in 2012 with the theater ready for its grand opening in fall 2014.

Involvement

Foundation for Promoting Arts Education: was established in 2004 and received its 501(c)(3) IRS determination in the fall of 2006. Over the past several years, The Foundation for Promoting Arts Education has raised more than $240,000 to enhance the visual and performing arts educational program, as well as the overall educational program, for Redding School of the Arts. The Foundation for Promoting Arts Education includes the Redding School of the Arts Parent Teacher Club, which has raised more than $100,000 for educational programs.

Redding School of the Arts: a charter school that opened in Northern California opened in August of 1999, began with 165 students, and has grown to serving a student body in excess of 450 bright young minds. RSA follows the guiding principle that art enriches, expands and prepares minds of young children for a full life in useful and unexpected ways. Using the approach that children involved in music and arts routinely perform better academically than children who do not, and low achieving students engaged in a visual and performing arts program shoe better attendance, increased self esteem and routinely cooperate more fully with teachers and peers.

Shasta Regional Community Foundation: Created by and for the people of Shasta and Siskiyou counties, Shasta Regional Community Foundation is a tax-exempt charitable organization working to enhance the quality of life for all people in the North State region. Founded in 1999, the roots of the Community Foundation can be found in the passions of a group of residents concerned with the well being of future North State generations. Today, the Community Foundation services the region by building permanent endowments, addressing needs through grant-making and by providing community leadership.