N.M. - Baca/Dlo´ay azhi Community School was honored Tuesday
for its environmentally friendly design, construction, and operation
and Navajo cultural aspects.
is the first Bureau of Indian Affairs school and the first building
in New Mexico to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is
one of only 104 buildings in the world to receive this certification.
think its exciting to have LEED certified school," said Jacque
Mangham, school principal.
said she thinks the school will set an example of conservation and
the importance of caring for the environment.
school received certification because of a positive impact toward
the environment. It uses natural lighting devices such as skylights
and windows in hallways.
hours, the complex switches to an energy automation system. Building
materials that help to lower energy was used.
school's landscape has native plants growing - plants that require
N. Comer of Dyron Murphy Architects, PC, said while designing the
school they decided to use recycled materials that do not emit high
amounts of gas and which use minimum amounts of water.
award vindicates about a year and a half of really hard work. So
we are absolutely thrilled," Comer said.
front entrance faces east. At the center is the library. Comer said
the designers consider the library as the center of learning. There
are four hallways expanding from the library, which represents the
entrances and floor tiles were colored in red, turquoise and yellow.
W. Anderson, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, was present
to accept the BIA's certificate for its contribution in building
Anderson was given a tour of the building. Greeting him was a poster
that said, "We walk in beauty to be productive life-long learners."
visited classrooms, offices and had lunch with students. Hallways
were decorated with information about Earth Day and "TV Turn
Off Week." Doors were decorated with Earth Day themes as part
of the school's door decorating contest.
have a beautiful school," Anderson said during the certification
ceremony. He was proud of the "green" example set by the
school's positive environmental impact.
said he thinks all schools should be environmentally conscious and
would like the BIA to continue promoting and building environmentally
creator did not create this wonderful place that we call home or
Mother Earth," said Anderson, "for us to walk on this
Anderson's speech, he had students stand and repeat a pledge to
continue to be proud of their school, to continue protecting the
environment, and to continue learning.
am native and I am proud...I am strong and I will protect Mother
Earth. And we will take care of her," repeated the students.
appreciation for Anderson, he was presented with a bolo tie and
a school T-shirt.
the ceremony, the school's Indian Club performed a ribbon dance
and basket dance.
were given to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Albuquerque district,
the BIA's Office of Facilities Management and Construction, Dyron
Murphy Architects, PC, Bradbury Stamm Construction Inc., Environmental
Dynamics Inc., and Southwest Commissioning Services LLC.
U.S. Green Building Council is a coalition promoting buildings that
are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to
live and work. LEED was created to recognize environmental friendly
designs and performances in buildings.
azhi Community School opened in August 2003.
400 students attend from the Prewitt, Haystack and Thoreau communities.
It is one of 184 BIA-funded schools located near or on 63 reservations
in 23 states.