Lodi Unified School District is banking on innovative funding to pay for a new school in the North Stockton area.
If approved, the district's new Green Tech Academy High School would provide college and career preparatory learning while focusing on sustainable environmental practices.
"It would stimulate while engaging students ... to solve problems, to collaborate and prepare them to enter the workplace," Bill Atterberry, one of the key planners, said at a board study session on Tuesday.
The proposed facility itself will be an active part of the educational process. For example, an on-site water treatment plant will be used as a teaching tool, as will solar panels installed in parking areas.
There would also be an agricultural component where students can grow food, have it prepared in the school kitchen and enjoy the fruits of their labor in an outdoor dining area.
"You're eating curriculum, and students will be able to see that right outside their classrooms," said Lodi High vice principal Jeff Palmquist, who has been working with staff on the school's concept.
The district's goal is to design a school today that will prepare students for tomorrow's world, according to the staff report.
"This is an exciting, exciting adventure that Lodi could be embarking on," said board president George Neely, who has also been part of the school's planning team. "I want to be its biggest cheerleader."
If the board votes to move forward with construction, the $37 million facility would be paid for with federal grants, state building funds, private partnerships and other sources. The remaining funding could come from Measure L, the school bond approved by North Stockton voters last decade, according to Neely.
The school could open in fall 2014.
The site, just off Lower Sacramento Road between McNair and Bear Creek high schools, was purchased four years ago.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at email@example.com.