PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources announced today that the Compass School, a K-8 charter school in Kingston, has been awarded a $500,000 state grant to help improve the energy efficiency of a large building renovation project. With the help of these funds, the project will meet the RI Stretch Code – voluntary green building guidelines that help buildings use less energy, have less negative impact on the environment, and achieve higher levels of occupant health and comfort.
The RI Stretch Code is a part of Governor Gina M. Raimondo's Lead by Example Executive Order 15-17, which establishes goals for the public sector to reduce its energy use. The grant was made possible by Rhode Island's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
"The Compass School is renovating an old building on its campus and has committed to making the project exceed base-code energy efficiency standards. The project will set a great example for other schools to follow," said State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant. "It is also in line with Governor Raimondo's goal to make our schools safer, warmer, drier and more comfortable for students, so they can focus on learning."
"Shortly after Rhode Islanders voted yes on Question 1, which provides The Compass School with an additional 20 percent in facility reimbursement from the RI Department of Education, the RI Office of Energy Resources announced a $500,000 grant to help us build an even more energy efficient middle school," said Brandee Lapisky, M.Ed., director of The Compass School. "This grant is a beautiful match for Compass' environmental sustainability mission and our efforts to renovate our historic barn to become our middle school's new home."
Last spring, the RI Office of Energy Resources issued the state's first stretch codes to support the development of energy efficient buildings. In addition to cost savings, energy efficiency enhances the comfort and safety of buildings by improving lighting, reducing noise, improving indoor air quality, stabilizing temperatures and providing more control over climate zones. Rhode Island's stretch codes are part of a comprehensive effort to reduce long-term energy usage, support the state's growing green economy and increase energy affordability for residents, businesses, and governments.
As part of the State's broader directive from Governor Gina M. Raimondo to "Lead By Example" (Executive Order 15-17), the Office of Energy Resources offered $500,000 to large-scale renovations or new construction projects in public sector buildings that committed to meeting the stretch code. The incentive was open to eligible municipal, public and charter school buildings, and the Compass School project, in partnership with ENE Systems, was selected through a competitive request for proposals process. The innovative 21st century learning space is being designed by Torrado Architects, a Rhode Island-based company.