Earth Day 2010 in Norfolk to Preview New Learning Center on Elizabeth River

For More Information: 

Kelly R. Williams

For Immediate Release
Release Date: 
Wed, 04/07/2010

Earth Day 2010 in Norfolk will preview the currently under construction Grandy Village Learning Center (GVLC) showcasing state-of-the-art environmental design, wetlands reclamation as well as aquatic education and recreation on the Elizabeth River.


These efforts are breathing new life into a portion of the river largely written off as dead and expediting the Elizabeth River Project’s goal of making the river fishable and swimmable by 2020.


The 15,000 square foot GVLC is expected to reach US Green Building Council LEED Silver Certification, making it 30-40 percent more energy efficient than conventional buildings. The building will utilize geothermal energy, a renewable energy source to heat and cool the facility.


During construction, approximately 70 percent of building materials are being recycled. The building process also uses structural insulated panels, which are made by sandwiching a core of rigid foam insulation between two structural skins of oriented strand board and result in lower heating and cooling costs, as well as four inches of expanded foam in all exterior walls. Double-glazed low-E windows, which reduce heat loss but admit solar gain, and low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints have also been utilized.


Educational components of the facility will include preschool classes used by Norfolk Public Schools and the STOP Organization’s Head Start Program, a wet classroom for school children to learn about river ecosystems and an aquatics program with a canoe/kayak launch provided by Norfolk Department of Recreation and Open Space.


The center offers an expansive community room overlooking the riverfront, a wetlands pavilion, observation pier with floating dock and a wetlands trail.


The center is being built by Henderson Incorporated (Williamsburg, VA) and designed by NRHA and RRMM Architects (Chesapeake, VA).


The completed building will be dedicated later this summer, in time for the 2010/2011 school year.

The program on April 22 is as follows:


9:30AM – 10AM: Breakfast prepared by 5 Points Community Market featuring locally grown produce

Exhibits (tentative) hosted by Wetlands Watch, Elizabeth River Project, Keep Norfolk Beautiful, Henderson Inc., VA Ready Mix Concrete Association, NRHA


10AM: Opening Remarks by City and NRHA Officials & Environmental Leader


10:15AM – 11AM: Tours of Learning Center – Rob Berz (RRMM) & Rusty Carlock (NRHA)

Presentations by STOP Organization/Head Start Program, Norfolk Public Schools, Norfolk Department of Recreation Parks & Open Space


Grandy Village is a 44-acre assisted-rental property built in 1953 undergoing a multi-million dollar transformation to a quality mixed-income community with future market rental and homeownership opportunities. It is located at 3151 Kimball Terrace.

Grandy Village Learning CenterGrandy Village Learning Center 









About NRHA: 

Founded in 1940, NRHA is a national leader in community revitalization and fostering sustainable mixed-income communities. As the largest redevelopment and housing authority in Virginia, NRHA plays a key role in making Norfolk the city of choice to build, work, live and play.

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