Portland, OR – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today praised the Vernonia School District’s sustainable renovation plans and highlighted $300,000 in federal funding for the project that is currently moving through the U.S. Senate.
“Vernonia schools have been hit with a hammer over the last few years and its inspiring to see that they’re striving for the best and thinking about the future as they rebuild,” said Merkley. “I know that parents and school officials are doing everything they can to provide the best facilities for their students. By building sustainable, energy efficient schools now, the district will be saving money over the long term and setting an example for generations of students.”
“We offer our profound thanks to Senators Merkley and Wyden in helping to secure funds for Vernonia’s sustainable schools,” said Superintendent of Vernonia Schools Kenneth Cox. “These funds will help to save energy costs in the Vernonia School District for many years to come, and ensure that our children have the best possible learning environment as we continue to recover and build a better future for our community.”
In 2007, devastating flooding washed through Vernonia, completely destroying sections of the Vernonia School District. Merkley and Senator Ron Wyden requested funds to be used for the Vernonia School District’s “green” rebuilding efforts, including energy efficient and sustainable technology features throughout the Vernonia Sustainable Schools complex. Some of these features will also be incorporated into the educational curriculum.
The funding is part of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations bill and must still pass the full Senate, be merged with a companion bill from the House, and be signed by the President before it becomes law and the funds become available.