Newly-Created Environmental Subcommittee Proposes Creation of a Framingham Public Schools Climate Change Plan

FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham School Committee’s Climate Change, Environment, and Sustainability Subcommittee, new this year, is proposing the Framingham Public Schools create a climate change plan.

The proposal is on the agenda for tonight’s, July 1 , School Committee meeting at 7 p.m.

Subcommittee Chair Geoffrey Epstein, the elected School Committee member from District 6, said he was concerned the district does not have a plan in place already to tackle the issue of climate change and sustainability.

Epstein cited a history of Framingham being behind other school districts as the driver for the proposal.

The plan would be responsible for evaluating ideas already being considered and implemented by the district, and determine if they are viable to be used district-wide.

During a subcommittee meeting earlier this week, the members discussed the possibility of having the new Fuller Middle School be all-electric, particularly discussing the use of heat pumps instead of natural gas.

While Framingham Public Schools Buildings & Grounds Director Matt Torti was unsure if that is possible considering how far along the new construction has progressed, he raised the possibility of building an all-electric school in the future.

Creating the climate change plan would help the district in the long run with having an understanding and foundation.

Torti said he and his staff are unfamiliar with the technology needed and that the plan would help them direct their efforts in the future towards more green infrastructure in the schools.

The City’s Sustainability Coordinator Shawn Luz said further installation of all-electric systems during construction could lead to significant savings versus installing them retroactively.

Torti said the new Fuller Middle School project as already passed the sustainability requirements laid out by the Massachusetts School Building Associations for new school construction.

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