The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) broke ground Monday on an innovative sustainable classroom at its Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach. It will use everything from solar power to rainwater to operate.
Construction is scheduled to begin on The Macon F. and Joan P. Brock Classroom early next year. Once completed the building will host students as part of a Virginia Beach City Public Schools program intended to teach the importance of environmental sustainability.
The classroom, designed by Tymoff+Moss Architects with support from SmithGroup, will use the area’s natural resources in order to minimize its environmental impact. Some of these design measures include using solar power, capturing and treating rainwater, and taking advantage of natural breezes and sunlight.
A donation from Joan Brock, philanthropist and longtime Virginia Beach resident, will fund the construction.
“There’s nothing more important than educating the next generation about the environment and sustainability,” said Brock in a press release from CBF. “A classroom at Pleasure House Point opens a world of exciting possibilities that will have a ripple effect on the community and beyond for years to come.”
Educators plan to use the classroom for hands-on service-learning projects like restoring oysters and testing the water quality of the nearby Lynnhaven River.
“The Brock Classroom will be a game changer for Virginia Beach students. It will be a world-class sustainable classroom opening on to one of the best outdoor learning experiences in the region-– the waters of the Lynnhaven and beaches, dunes, and marshes of Pleasure House Point,” said CBF President William C. Baker.
The facility will also be used to host community events and workshops that focus on issues relating to environmental sustainability. The 1,600 square-foot facility should be completed in time for the 2020 school year.