Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mary M. Hooker School

There is that Hooker name again!  It is common here. The Mary M. Hooker Environmental Sciences Magnet School was renovated and expanded two years ago and converted into a pre-K - 8 magnet school.  One month ago it was honored with Platinum LEED certification.  It is one of only 11 public schools in the country to achieve that highest level of energy efficiency and environmental awareness.  Click here to read a story about the school . . . trust me, it is worth your time.

Other LEED-certified school projects in Connecticut are at places like Yale and Choate Rosemary Hall, prominent (and wealthy) private schools.  Mary Hooker is an inner city public school.   I stopped at the school a few days ago to take some pictures.  The principal gave me a tour.
 
A marine biologist and an entomologist teach here (at an elementary school!).  There are dozens of terraria and fish tanks, including the one with koi staring down the principal.  Butterflies have their own room to emerge from cocoons.  Wood used in the millwork was rescued from an abandoned Hartford factory.  Bricks were recycled from the 1950s predecessor building.  Food waste is mulched, and the mulch is used to grow plants.  The lawn offers big fields of wildflowers.  The roof carries solar panels and the rest of the rook is painted white to reflect light.  The building has the usual heavy insulation, efficient lighting, etc.  Natural daylight streams in through big, carefully sited windows, and masonry columns act as heat sinks.  Etc  Etc.

All in all, Hartford should be proud of this school.


25 comments:

Malyss said...

Yes, you can! :o) I dream of a world where all schools could be like this one!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Interesting post, Jack. Such a pity that all new buildings can't have this level of thought go into their design.

Dianne said...

It sounds wonderful Jack and how fortunate you were to have a guided tour of the school by none other than the Principal - they have some great inovative programs in place - a school to be proud of.

Cildemer said...

Great post! very informative! And yes, you can be proud of this school!

***
Bizzzzzzz et à bientôt, Jack****

Cindy said...

Very cool. Good for them, and for all of us. I love the second shot, nice reflections!

cieldequimper said...

I wish... I wish we'd also find ways of keeping our old buildings and making them efficient...

Regina K said...

Proud indeed. I want my grandkids to attend.

SRQ said...

Very nice having a marine biologist and entomologist on staff for the youngsters. And, I love the idea of natural daylight streaming into the school. I wonder,though, what the ROI is on the energy aspects of the building.

VP said...

Unthinkable here, you must be really proud of this kind of schools!

Sharon said...

Very impressive! The country could use more schools like these.

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

This is inspiring. (My niece, who grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota, is now getting her Ph.D. in marine biology, so inspiration for such endeavors can originate in unlikely place.)

I just saw on the TV news a report about the snow storm in Hartford and the downed tree branches and power lines. I hope you are warm and with power.

Luis Gomez said...

Great post Jack! Wonderful link. Thanks.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Very impressive Jack, hopefully in the future more and more new schools and building will incorporate these environmentally friendly features. I guess the initial cost could be high, but the long term benefits so worth it. So you were 'teachers pet' for the day hey, hope you remembered to take an apple haha!

Sylvia K said...

Impressive indeed! As a former teacher who has become so discouraged with the educational system in so many states, I'm overwhelmed with what your schools have accomplished! Fantastic. Terrific post for the day, Jack, and thanks for sharing such great information! I'm going to read the article now. Thanks for including it. Enjoy your day!

Sylvia

Birdman said...

Lots going on here. Now, that's education!

Randy said...

Sound like a great school. I like that second shot!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your photographs and blog, Jack. We are very proud of our school and programs. We are now accepting applications for students entering PreK age 3 through Grade 8. Please visit www.choiceeducation.org for more information.

Please call for more information or visit one of our many open houses.

Peter Dart
Principal
860-695-3760

jennyfreckles said...

It sounds amazing. One day perhaps all kids will have such an inspiring school to attend.
Hope you are not buried under unseasonal snow; stay warm and safe!

Ali - Scituate Daily Photo said...

Amazing, Jack - thank you for featuring this school and telling us a bit about it!!

RedPat said...

Being a science fiend I would have loved to have gone to a school like that. Loved the link Jack!

zakton said...

That's a really fascinating school. As a parent, I would be happy to have my children to go to a school like that.

Farmchick said...

Wow, this school sounds quite fantastic. I would love to see even a few of those features go into effect at our local elementary school.

Dawn said...

Amazing school...They offer what all schools should.
I like that second shot Jack!

JM said...

What a beautiful bunch of Koi!

Anonymous said...

Yes the school is amazing and a wonderful environment for our children.
I am employed there and feel very blessed to be a part of a great team!