By Elizabeth Janney, Patch Staff
COLUMBIA, MD — Maryland’s first net-zero energy school opens this week. Students at Wilde Lake Middle School on Monday returned from winter break to start the new year in their new building, which officials say will generate as much energy as it takes in over the course of a year. A ribbon cutting and community open house at the new middle school will be held Sunday.
The new Wilde Lake Middle School — built behind the old one — is double the size of the old structure, which will be demolished to make way for the bus loop and parking lot in the coming months. Despite its larger size, the new building will use half the energy as the older one, according to Howard County public school officials, who said that solar power, geothermal HVAC and responsive lighting systems have been built into it.