Pleasant Ridge Montessori School achieves LEED Silver Certification

Pleasant Ridge Montessori has become the first public K-12 school in Ohio to achieve Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Certification thanks to the efforts of Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS), the Pleasant Ridge community, and the design work of SHP Leading Design.

The announcement of the LEED Silver Certification came from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) after a review of the school's application.

"This announcement is a monumental achievement for SHP, Cincinnati Public Schools and the community of Pleasant Ridge," said vice president of SHP, Charlie Jahnigen.  "The school was the first LEED registered K-12 building in the state of Ohio and the first to receive its LEED certification."

The 75,000 square-foot educational facility was constructed on the school's existing seven-acre site and opened in 2008 to house 317 students, but enrollment this past year has grown to 572 students.

Some of the school's sustainable features include solar panels, specially designed utility and mechanical systems, north and south facing windows to prevent sun glare and provide optimal sunlight, a white roof to reduce heat absorption, and the use of recycled and locally produced materials in the construction process.

While Pleasant Ridge Montessori is the first of its kind, it will certainly not be the last as Cincinnati Public Schools has adopted the sustainable design standards used on this project and applying them to all of its future projects.  Likewise, the state of Ohio has also mandated that any new public school in the state receiving state funds must meet LEED Silver certification or better.

Jahnigen said that everyone invovled in the process of creating this new school should be very proud.  "Pleasant Ridge provided an incredible opportunity to realize the benefits of sustainable design, and CPS has proven to be an invaluable partner in the process."

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Scott Beseler
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