As we look back through the archives of The McGillis School, we realize that while some things have changed over the last 30 years: physical location, leadership, the size of our student body, growing an additional division, and more. Despite these changes, at the core, we remain the same. We remain a community committed and able to repair the world.
In 2011, our community goals focused on LEED certification and sustainability. While these issues remain top of mind, today we've broadened the meaning of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) to include social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as climate change. This foundation created by those who came before us, allowed us to inherit a sustainable building, creating the opportunity to build on the ideals from a decade ago, and grow to include treating one another with the same care as we would the environment.
When the expansion of our campus was completed in the summer of 2010, it was Green LEED Certified. Over the course of the next year, in partnership with Rocky Mountain Power, we were able to add 117 rooftop solar panels. Further details of the actions taken to achieve Gold LEED certification can be found in this Salt Lake Tribune Article from October 14, 2011.
“McGillis Celebrates Gold LEED”
Originally published in The McGillis Musings, Winter, 2011
On Friday, October 14, 2011, many in the McGillis and Salt Lake Community gathered in our Library to celebrate the choices that were made when building the expansion spaces, choices that led us to achieve Gold LEED certification. Representative Patrice Arent, Salt Lake Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn, Salt Lake Councilman Luke Garrott, Dave Engle of the US Green Building Council, and Arlene Bentley and Jeff Hyman with Rocky Mountain Power, along with middle school students, faculty, and staff were all gathered for the presentation of the Gold LEED Certification plaque. But we were also gathered to recognize the ongoing responsibility that comes with choices of our actions every day. It is each of our responsibility to take care the world and it is our responsibility to repair the world. This presentation was part of our Ethics in Action day, which was focused on learning how all of us as a community use resources: How much waste does the School produce? How can I recycle? What is a carbon footprint and how do I make mine smaller? Where does the School's power and food come from?
We learned about how changing our actions should help all of us reduce our footprint. McGillis has called this initiative Sustainable Pathways. This Gold LEED Certification was the first step on our pathway.