New Nitschmann Middle School Earns Gold LEED Status For Energy Efficient Design

Nitschmann Middle School was recently recognized as achieving the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standard.

The U.S. Green Building Council provides a series of qualifications for how buildings are planned, constructed, maintained and operated. Based on the number of points achieved, a project then receives one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The district’s new Broughal Middle School, constructed in 2009, is also a LEED Gold school.

Mark Stein, BASD Chief Facilities and Operations Officer, commended the hard work not only of the School District and its employees, but also the work of the contractors and numerous subcontractors that were able to work together.

Bethlehem Area School District Board of Supervisors President, Michael Faccinetto, said that the overall project came in at $3 million below budget and a full $10 million below the original proposed budget.

“We have been good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” he said.

“The Bethlehem Area School District has been a leader in promoting sustainability and energy efficiency, with solar panels at five schools, being an Energy Star Leader and constructing a new LEED Gold Broughal Middle School,” said M. Arif Fazil, President of D’Huy Engineering Inc, which oversaw  the new Nitschmann Middle School project. “The new Nitschmann project continues the district’s commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability.”

BASD School Board Supervisors

Architect Robin Breslin of Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects of Allentown, which designed Nitschmann, said the standard was met through the hard work of so many involved.

While the exact number of LEED Gold Status schools across the state of Pennsylvania changes from time to time, the Bethlehem Area School District currently has two out of what are to believed only a handful more schools throughout who have been awarded the same honor.

The description of the building, courtesy of Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects:

“The new 4-story Nitschmann Middle School has been constructed on the same site as the old building that it replaced, keeping the school in the heart of the West Bethlehem neighborhood that it has served for nearly 100 years. The new design is organized with the auditorium and cafeteria anchoring the east end, the gymnasiums anchoring the west end, and the connecting classroom floors in between. Flanking the main entrance is a tall clock-tower with a glass-enclosed top that illuminates at night. The tower serves as a civic landmark to the surrounding neighborhood, designating the building as a place for both school and community. After the old middle school is demolished, new synthetic athletic fields will take its place. This resulting active open space will be an extension of the city’s Rose Garden Park “green corridor” across the street. The state of the art, 21st century learning facility has achieved LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.”