Education News – B.C. Schools Seeing Green

The generation of children now in primary and high school are learning valuable lessons about preserving the environment–and in some cases, their classrooms are the lesson.

The B.C. government has announced the re-opening of a newly green francophone school in Victoria, as well as plans for a new eco-friendly school in Surrey.

B.C.’s second-largest francophone school, école Victor Brodeur, was rebuilt on the original site, and according to Education Minister Shirley Bond ?environmental conservation has greatly influenced the design? (1) of the new building.

Features include low water usage toilets and waterless urinals, a system to capture and re-use heat, and efficient lighting. Outside, special porous asphalt allows for a more natural diffusion of rainwater into the ground, while a basin system under the surface catches and retains excess water. Landscaping was designed to allow the preservation of mature trees.

The rebuilding project also ?recycled and reused more than 75 per cent of construction waste materials to keep them out of landfills? (1).

In Surrey, a new school being built to meet growing student demand will also be environmentally friendly.

The Rosemary Heights West elementary school, scheduled to open in September 2008, will be designed to aid the province’s efforts to ?reduce B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 33 per cent below current levels by 2020? (2).

The school and grounds will be designed to save existing trees, and sustainability will be a key feature, with a focus on reducing energy use, water efficiency, and the use of local materials.

(1) Province of British Columbia. École Victor Brodeur Opens With Green Focus. Retrieved May 17, 2007, from

(2) Province of British Columbia. New Surrey School to Boast Environmental Design. Retrieved May 17, 2007, from