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Net Zero Energy Schools Raise Bar on Green Construction Statewide

November 15, 2023

On his first tour of Wilde Lake Middle School in Columbia, Christopher Rattay watched a fleet of solar cars whiz up and down the sixth-grade hallway. He would learn from the enthusiastic young operators that they were built for a class project. The new principal knew right away that Maryland’s first net zero energy school would be a wild ride, that the $34-million facility, which opened in 2017, had the potential to be something special, both as a learning laboratory and a model for school construction.

“The [building] itself is gorgeous and contributes to good health and a sense of emotional well-being,” said Rattay, who was struck by the “open spaces and natural light” in the halls, stairwells and classrooms.