Students at work in a 'clean room' at HVCC's Malta Campus.
The building itself is nestled into a scenic wooded parcel offof one of the many circles associated with Exit 12 of the Northway. Wood andstone building materials make the site a beautiful campus, and althoughvisitors are greeted by solar panels and wind turbines, it all fits and worksto create a pleasing environment - and a sustainable one.
The center is over 43,000 square feet and is a LEED (Leadershipin Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Building. LEED is internationallyrecognized, and awards certification based on many criteria including energysavings. Platinum is LEED’s highest rating.
The campus is equipped with a 200-seat auditorium, fivetechnology laboratories (including photovoltaic, geothermal, small/large wind, alternative fuels and a semiconductor “simulated clean room”) eight classrooms, a computer classroom and a multipurpose classroom.
One third of the building’s energy is generated via solar andwind energy. Put that together with low-impact plumbing, retention of rain andgroundwater via a rock garden for use as grey water (such as flushing toilets)among other sustainable practices and you’ve got the latest technologies inpractice, as well as being taught in the classroom.
Hill stopped in to see how three high school teachers from Ballston Spa were getting along in one of the classrooms as they planned out coursework for some of their high school juniors taking a solar energies class down the hallway.
Ballston Spa teachers John Ballet, Sarah Grube-Edwards and Matt Glugowski were planning coursework for the remainder of the year with the goal of providing the students with the most effective curriculum.
One of the projects the high school students are working on now, according to Ballet, concerns planning.
“We’re discussing urban planning and the term is ‘new urbanism’as opposed to (urban) sprawl…and how to design our growing towns and municipalities in a way that’s sustainable for the future,” he said.
Grube-Edwards explained that the students had taken a computer aided drafting course in the previous semester, and that skill would be implemented in the new urbanism project.