VMDO Hosts Center for Green Schools and Instituto Thomas Jefferson

by Lynelle Douma, Marketing Coordinator

Last Wednesday, VMDO kicked off an enriching three day visit from our friends at Instituto Thomas Jefferson, Ramon Carvajal and Priscila Gomez, and Director of the USGBC’s Center for Green Schools, Rachel Gutter. Representatives from VMDO met Rachel, Priscila, Ramon, several Center for Green Schools team members and guests from the National Science Teachers Association in Arlington for a tour of Discovery Elementary School led by project manager Wyck Knox. The entire group was very impressed by the net-zero school and enjoyed hearing from 5th grade tour guides about their experiences at the school this year.


On Thursday morning, Priscila and Ramon were able to tour many notable sites in the Charlottesville Area including: Monticello, the Lawn, the Miller School and the Graduate Center for Jefferson Fellows. Thursday afternoon allowed for a special presentation from Rachel about the state of our schools in the US and how architects can help schools meet their potential through sustainable design and healthy learning environments. Ramon shared some history and current work at the Instituto Thomas Jefferson in Mexico City, and Priscila closed with statistics on the state of schools in Mexico and efforts by Representaciones Intelligencia Sustentable (RIS) and ITJ to improve sustainable education practices in Mexico.

The group reconvened on Friday morning in Buckingham County to tour the Carter G. Woodson Education Complex. They were joined by Primary School Principal, Pennie Allen, Director of Facilities, Chip Davis, and Primary School Counselor, Palmer Castrodale. The group discussed day to day life and programming at the school as well 4H and Center for Green Schools partnerships.

We hope everyone enjoyed an enriching three days of tours and discussion related to green building design! We’re looking forward to meeting up again soon!

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