NRHA to Receive Norfolk Education Foundation Recognition

For More Information: 

Kelly R. Williams

For Immediate Release
Release Date: 
Wed, 11/03/2010

Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA) will be recognized by the Norfolk Education Foundation as an “A+ Community Partner” during the annual Together In Education Awards fundraiser on Wednesday, November 3.
The A+ Community Partner Award was created in 2009 to recognize members of the Hampton Roads community who have forged meaningful partnerships within Norfolk schools. To recognize the various forms of relationships forged between school and community, six categories have been identified. They are Rookie Achievement Award, Innovative Award, and Collaborative Award, Tutoring Award, Mentoring Award and Summa Cum Laude Award.
NRHA will receive the Rookie Award for the work the Authority has done with Norfolk Public Schools (NPS) at the Grandy Village Learning Center.
Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, in partnership with NPS and the STOP Organization's Head Start Program, has constructed a brand new, "green" educational and environmental learning center on the banks of the Elizabeth River. The Grandy Village Learning Center (GVLC) officially opened on Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - just in time for the 2010/2011 academic school year. The 15,000 square foot, $4.1 million GVLC, anticipating US Green Building Council's LEED Gold certification, is 30-40 percent more energy efficient than conventional buildings. It houses pre-school programs for Norfolk Public Schools and the STOP Organization’s Head Start and offers a wet classroom for school children to learn about river ecosystems.
Currently, the Elizabeth River Project’s Learning Barge is berthed at the GVLC and it is the first time it has taken up residence in the City of Norfolk. In addition to its usual tours and school groups, the Elizabeth River Project staff will work with the Norfolk Public Schools’ preschool program in developing a curriculum for younger children. This 120-by-32 foot floating classroom is powered entirely by sun and wind.
Additionally, the GVLC showcases state-of-the-art environmental design, wetlands reclamation as well as aquatic education and recreation on the Elizabeth River. Norfolk’s Department of Recreation, Parks & Open Space will have a canoe and kayak launch and water safety programs available.
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.
During construction, approximately 70 percent of building materials were 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 were also utilized.
The center offers an expansive community room overlooking the riverfront, a wetlands pavilion, observation pier with floating dock and a wetlands trail.
The center was built by Henderson Incorporated (Williamsburg, VA) and designed by NRHA and RRMM Architects (Chesapeake, VA).

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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