What’s happening in Rainbow Schools?

Sod Turning Marks Start of Construction of Green School in Sudbury West

Turning sod are, from left, Tim Dettlaff, Senior Vice-President of Asset Management for Ameresco Canada,

Trustee Gord Santala, Director of Education Jean Hanson, and Board Chair Judy Hunda
with Alec Carter, Grade 1, George Vanier Public School and Chelcey Perfetto, Grade 5, Jessie Hamilton Public School.

Rainbow District School Board held a sod turning ceremony today to mark the start of construction of its second green school. Located on Sixth Avenue in Lively, the school will offer English and French Immersion programs for students in JK to Grade 6 from George Vanier Public School and Jessie Hamilton Public School.

“Rainbow District School Board has made education for sustainable development a priority,” said Board Chair Judy Hunda. “Valley View Public School, the first green school in Northern Ontario, is a tangible example of the vision that we share for our schools and the communities that we serve. The green features in this new school will reaffirm our commitment to creating a healthier, greener environment in which to live and learn.”

With this new school, the Board is exploring the possibility of building a carbon neutral facility, where the energy that is used is equal to the energy that is produced. This would be achieved by incorporating solar panels and wind turbines into the design. “Ideally, we want to use electricity as the only source of energy and offset what we use with renewable energy generated by the sun and the wind,” said Chair Hunda. “We will be ready to proceed with this next step in sustainability if and when we secure sufficient funding.”

There are many benefits to building high performance facilities, from education, environmental and economic perspectives. “Go green features protect the natural environment, provide a healthy, hands-on place to learn, reduce energy consumption and operating expenses, and make new schools exceptional learning and teaching tools for students and staff,” said Rainbow District School Board Director of Education Jean Hanson.

“As Rainbow District School Board begins construction of the new school in Sudbury West, they continue to set a green standard for others to follow,” said Tim Dettlaff, Senior Vice-President of Asset Management for Ameresco Canada. 

He added: “Ameresco Canada is proud to be a partner in this new initiative. The Board’s environmental stewardship practices are an encouragement for students, teachers and members of the community and its actions are teaching and inspiring us to do our part in reducing our overall carbon footprint.”

The new school in Sudbury West will accommodate 500 students in 49,247 square feet over two floors. The school will also house a daycare facility.

Castellan James + Partners Architects Inc. is designing the school. Ameresco Canada Inc. is overseeing the construction with a targeted completion date of the fall of 2009.

Project Team:



Castellan James + Partners Architects Inc.

Sustainable Advisor

Tom Tamblyn – Dearness Conservation Society

Mechanical/Electrical Engineer

LKM SNC Lavalin

Civil Engineer

Trow Engineering

Structural Engineer

Genesis Engineering


Ameresco Canada Inc.


Media Contact:

Nicole Charette, Senior Advisor,
Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning,
Rainbow District School Board, 705.674.3171, ext. 7217.