Archive for April, 2013

The Big Wind LLC will oversee Wind Turbine and Solar Panels install on NYC School

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013


The Big Wind, A Sea Girt NJ based company will oversee the installation of a UGE EDDY GT Wind Turbine and 2kw Solar Panel renewable energy package on the Highbridge Middle School in the Bronx. The Big Wind President Gregory Hart said that this will be the second installation of a vertical axis wind turbine in New York City, the first being install by The Big Wind at The Town School on east 76th St and FDR Drive.

For years, Highbridge middle schoolers have had to trek across town to get to class.

Some kids would have to take the subway or as many as three buses because the neighborhood lacked its own middle school.

But Allan Gonzalez probably won’t have to do that. The 11-year-old is among local fifth graders who applied for one of the 130 slots at the new Highbridge Green School, a “green” school set to open in the gritty neighborhood this fall.

“I’m very happy about the school and I want to graduate and go to that school,” Allan said. “And it’s more safer.”

The principal of the new school, Kyle Brilliante, agreed, saying the purpose of the “green” school was not just environmental sustainability , but cultivating good students .

“We’re going to hold them to high, rigorous college-ready academic expectations,” he said.

“We’re going to nurture them, make them feel safe and supported.”

Constructed with regionally produced, sustainable materials, the $34 million Highbridge Green (or I.S. 285X) will boast environmentally sound features like a roof garden, wind turbine, solar panels, a greenhouse and a rainwater collection system.

Parents hope the sixth through eighth grade school on 167th St. between University and Sedgwick Aves. will be the first Green LEED Platinum School in New York.

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“We live in a concrete jungle,” said Ocynthia Williams, a founding member of United Parents of Highbridge, which pushed for the school’s creation. “They don’t know where food comes from. For them to know how to grow their own food, I think it helps with obesity. It teaches our kids the truth about food – that food does not come in a can, its not frozen.”

The school is the result of parents’ nearly decade-long campaign for a dedicated middle school.

Highbridge has four elementary schools, but no middle school. That meant children had to slog long distances to get to junior high.

“At 10 years old, or nine, it was a big concern,” said Allan’s father, Jose Gonzalez, the chairman of the school’s parent advisory board. “I think the most important thing in this fight was the safety of the child. That’s why we said ‘Lets keep those children here.’”

Highbridge Green will admit 130 students for sixth grade, then add one grade a year until it reaches its capacity for 390 students in grades six through eight.

Enrollment for the incoming class ends Wednesday. Current fifth grade students zoned to attend PS 11, PS 114, PS 73 and PS 126 will be given priority. The Department of Education will decide who will be admitted.

Students in Districts 9 and 10 are also eligible – parents can pick up applications at the Bronx Borough Office of Enrollment at 1 Fordham Plaza, 7th Floor.

Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson, who worked with United Parents of Highbridge to create the school, said Highbridge Green would serve as a model to others – not just because it’s environmentally friendly, but because the community came together to make it a reality.

“This is an investment that’s going to transform lives and build our community for many years to come,” she said.

Brilliante said, “In some ways, the building is a testament to the way the neighborhood is heading.”

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