Living Green: A new Naches elementary school is built for energy - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Living Green: A new Naches elementary school is built for energy efficiency

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NACHES, WA - Earth Day is this Saturday, and tonight we go inside a high-tech elementary school.

There's a brand new school in Naches that was built with sustainability in mind. Driving up to Naches Valley Elementary, you'll notice the stunning views surrounding the school. But it's what you don't see that makes this school one of a kind. In fact, the construction of this school was so important that a skit was put on for the student body about the new solar panels.

"Once upon a time, people in Naches Valley School District voted to build a new school," a Naches Valley student said during the skit. "They built the school to be energy efficient and to have solar panels on the roof of the gym."

The $16 million bond approved by voters in 2014 didn't cover all the expenses, so the school got help from Pacific Power to afford 186 solar panels.

"We provided a $90,000 Blue Sky grant to Naches Elementary and they built this great solar project," said Toby Freeman, Regional Business Manager for Pacific Power.

Students at Perry Tech spent more than a week installing the panels, but solar power isn't the only thing green about Naches Valley Elementary.

"So the school is heated through hydronic heating," said Duane Lyons, Superintendent of Schools with the school district. "Pumping water up through the ground water and putting it through a heat exchanger. That helps to heat and cool the building that way. It's a super insulated package; very, very tight."

Some of these students may not know what energy efficient means, but all they have to do is just take a look around their school or use the automatic water bottle filler fountains to see that even they can make a difference on the world around them.

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