New High School Promises to Paint County Green

“Bringing the World to Our Students…Delivering 21st Century Students to the World.”

These words set the stage for “High School 2013”, Charles County’s newest school project. It costs a total of $75 million and has the capacity for 1300-1600 students.

Built primarily as a response to overcrowding in the six currently operating high schools, this newest school promises to be a model for the integration of technology and learning. At the same time, it will “serve Charles County and Maryland as a…laboratory for environmental study, research and conservation opportunities.”
The school will offer environmental education for students and the greater community in three areas. The first is natural resources management, which focuses on the use of regulation of air, soil, wildlife, water, and land. Next is environmental technology, giving students knowledge of various green technologies and other topics, such as watershed and landscape restoration. The third area of focus is environmental/ natural resources and ethics, which teaches students how to solve real world environmental problems through research.
Not only will the course of study be environmental, but the facility will be too. The school is projected to be certified as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold, the second highest rating that can be awarded to a green building. The school will also boast features such as geothermal heating/cooling, automatic light control systems, and solar preheated hot water. A digital dome classroom and device called Science on a Sphere will aid students in their study. The high school will be located in St. Charles, which was recently named an international green community.
Partnerships with various local businesses will provide students the opportunity for work experience and internships. Those businesses include the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Johns Hopkins University, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the U.S. Department of Defense and many more.
“I wish I could go there,” said Dandre Davis (‘12) of the project, echoing the sentiment of many North Point students. Others, such as Briana Williams, felt that many of the high school’s special programs need not be so concentrated. “(The school is) cool, however, they can bring these ideas to other schools as well,” she said.