LAUSD Vaughn Charter School: A Leader in Sustainable Building and Landscaping

Local School Ahead of the Curve

Just over a decade ago, the folks at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center in San Fernando, California, made a bold promise to their students and faculty. They would commit to greening their campuses, saving money and natural resources, through slow and steady updates and renovations.

They’ve been adopting green building initiatives ever since.

In 2010, Vaughn opened two Project Frog energy-efficient classrooms, focused on sustainability and preparing students for green jobs of the future. In 2012, they built the Global Green Generation Academy, complete with outdoor classrooms and a Zen garden. In 2015, solar panels were installed.

And finally, this spring, Cali Green Turf was honored to play a role in Vaughn’s process. We were selected to install 12,000 square feet of synthetic turf at three of the school’s five campuses in order to help them meet their water conservation goals.

At an estimated 59.2 gallons of water per year to keep natural grass green in the hot California sun, that’s a savings of 710,400 gallons per year. Spread it out over the 15-year product warranty, and we’re talking about saving approximately 10,656,000 gallons of water. Enough to fill a small pond. Or hydrate nearly 185,000 people for one year.

The entire install was completed over Spring Break to avoid disrupting classes. Total impact to students and faculty during construction: zero. Total impact to students back from break: hugely positive.

“The kids and teachers love the new turf areas,” said Vaughn Maintenance Manager Peter Rios. “It’s good for kids with allergies and parents love the fact that they don’t have to deal with grass stains anymore.”

Rios said that after the school went out to bid on the project, Cali Green Turf was selected for coming in at the most competitive price point.

Although it’s not the first turf installed on Vaughn campuses, it is the most recent. Rios said that since the school started switching over to artificial grass, they’ve had great success.

“We started installing turf over ten years ago to help save water (and) cut maintenance cost. It seems to hold up better then natural grass,” said Rios.

The school is used to positioning itself ahead of the curve. Founded in 1993, Vaughn was the country’s very first charter school ever, nestled within the Los Angeles Unified School District. Today, it serves 1,917 students—96.9% of them eligible for free meals.

Despite the difficulties that often plague schools faced with such high concentrations of low-income families, Vaughn has proven its power to positively impact its students and the community-at-large. It won a California Distinguished School Award in 1996 and a National Blue Ribbon School Award in 1997. Students enjoy small class sizes and access to an onsite Museum of American History, and administrators and board members are always pushing the envelope, eager to look toward the future—not only in education, but in the green global economy the students will face upon graduation.

Want to know how Cali Green Turf can help your school or business meet water conservation goals and become a leader in the green building movement?

If you’ve got some time, check out our Commercial page, which includes a bit more information about our process and a video of the Vaughn project. Or, give us a call and we’ll be happy to talk!

We’re always honored to help our clients save water, save money, and save California. Contact us anytime at 310-648-8346 or click here for a free quote. Cali Green Turf is veteran owned and operated. We’ve served our country, now let us serve you.

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