Could environmentalists be the new group that locks horns with the Wake County school board majority?
As noted in today's article, Chris Malone, chair of the school board's facilities committee, is calling for a financial review of the school district's green schools efforts. Green schools require more money up front but are supposed to save an even larger amount over time.
But Malone said there are questions whether the green efforts actually are leading to enough savings to justify their use during these tough financial times. He says they need to examine the issue in more detail before including it as part of a bond issue in the next few years.
"I'm for going green," Malone said. "But we need to look at the costs."
Over the years, Wake school administrators have touted how green the schools are with features such as waterless urinals and daylighting. Wake tries to meet the standards of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
The LEED program has strong ties to those who fear that global warming is a serious problem.
"The green school itself also serves as a teaching tool – demonstrating to students, faculty, and parents practical ways that we can turn back the clock on global warming while creating healthier, more efficient, less costly learning environments," according to a handout from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Malone says he believes that climate change is happening and that man has an impact. But he said it's uncertain that man has had as great an impact on climate change that some environmentalists maintain.
If the long-term costs don't bear out, Malone said it would still be good to use green measures for schools. But he said in that scenario it might be better to wait until the economy improves.