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River Crest takes the gold

River Crest Elementary is only the second elementary school in the nation and the first in Wisconsin to earn the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold Award from the U.S. Green Building Council, a third-party environmental certification organization. The LEED program is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

The presentation was made at a reception at River Crest on Oct. 13 by Hoffman LLC, the architects and construction managers of the school. Board president Dan Tjornehoj accepted the award on behalf of the district.

Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten said that the school not only earned the Gold Award for environmental design but did so at a cost, $57 per square foot, that is the below the region's average cost for a traditionally built school. She also noted that since opening last year the school continues to have a low operating cost due to the many energy efficiency and saving features that are part of its design.

Remarks about the school also came from Mark Hanson and Sam Statz of Hoffman LLC, Hudson Mayor Dean Knudson, Jay Lund of Andersen Windows, River Crest Principal Pat Hodges and the students of River Crest.

The program featured music by the Hudson School District Chamber Orchestra students and refreshments by the Hudson High School Beginning Chefs class. River Crest fifth grade teacher John Mueller and his students performed the River Crest school song.