Dist. 26 New Prairie Trails School Ribbon Cutting Sets

River Trails School District. 26 will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its newly renovated kindergarten and preschool building, Prairie Trails School, 1900 E. Kensington Rd. in Mount Prospect, at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, August 11.

The event is open to the public and will serve as the school’s official introduction to the community before it opens to students for the 2021-22 school year.

Prairie Trails School is a net-zero energy building, which helped the district receive a $2 million grant from the Illinois Community Clean Energy Foundation to help fund the project. The building is Mount Prospect’s first net-zero energy facility, in addition to being the first renovated school in the state to achieve green classification. It is consistent with ongoing sustainability efforts that have resulted in the Department of Energy recognizing the district’s participation in the “Better Buildings” initiative.

“This is an achievement that our district is proud of and allows us to achieve several goals,” said Supt. said Nancy Wagner. “Not only does this create a better learning environment for our students, but it also helps us teach them the importance of protecting the environment. Also, moving our kindergartens into one building will create more space in our other schools. The realization of this project during the pandemic and without a referendum brings honor to many inhabitants of the district and the community. We look forward to celebrating and showcasing all that hard work.

Prairie Trails includes 10 kindergarten classrooms and four pre-kindergarten classrooms, intentionally designed for the district’s youngest learners. The building, inside and out, supports an integrated program bringing science, technology, nature and sustainability to life. In addition, it houses the administrative offices of the district in a reduced space.

Sustainability features, including solar panels and a new efficient heating and cooling system, are expected to save more than $32,000 per year in annual gas and electricity costs while providing quality optimized indoor air and reliable energy-efficient performance.

The building will also feature several educational exhibits to help students understand the unique aspects of the school.

The inauguration event will include a ceremony with remarks from district leaders and other honored guests. It will be followed by tours of the building.

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Jeremy S. McLain