July 31, 2012—With the beginning of the 2012-13 school year, Zwink Elementary becomes the 28th elementary school in the Klein ISD. Zwink is the second Collaborative for High Performing Schools (CHPS) Verified campus in the district, and the first of the new elementary prototype designed by PBK Architects. As a CHPS Verified school, it allows the district to merge instructional needs with sustainable construction and energy conservation into a facility capable of providing an exceptional learning environment.
In the early planning stages, Principal Jenny McGown began exploring community partnerships to incorporate and help supplement costs for materials in order to enhance the overall look and experience for the Zwink community. After meeting with Trees for Houston, a local non-profit organization, they offered to purchase more than $12,000 in oak trees and landscaping materials for Zwink through its Trees for Schools program.
“Zwink was a great candidate for this program,” said Jessica Keener, marketing and volunteer director with Trees for Houston. “We were especially happy to give this brand new school trees because of the irrigation system already in place, which will ensure the survival of the young trees. Also, the project at Zwink will help guarantee a vital environmental improvement to the area where students will walk, run and play on their campus.”
The Trees for Schools program provides and plants much-needed trees on Houston area school campuses. Participating schools are identified and selected based on recommendations, and the trees are maintained and monitored by the organization for two years to ensure survival. Trees for Houston has planted more than 8,000 trees at nearly 25 campuses since 1994, and more than 430,000 trees in Houston during its 29 years.
“The support from Mr. Ward and Trees of Houston has been tremendous, as we are now able to purchase benches, picnic tables, materials for the butterfly and campus garden, and much more to get the campus ready for more than 800 students expected in the fall,” said McGown. “My goal is for Zwink to become an active and engaging learning environment that supports high-quality math and science instruction for all learners.”
Zwink Elementary is located at 22200 Frassati Way Spring, Texas 77389. There are several unique elements at Zwink that provide an educational opportunity as well as energy conservation benefit, including: rainwater and condensate harvesting for irrigation, low-flow plumbing fixtures, light shelving units, use of daylight for reduced lighting fixtures, a cool roof, and interactive displays of real-time utility data. Zwink is projected to be 40 percent more energy efficient than previous schools that did not follow the CHPS standard. For more information on the construction of this campus, click here.