News : Portsmouth Firm Makes High School Greener

Apr 8, 2013

From Exeter Patch

By Jim Cavan

If there was a criticism of the typical high school class, it might be that the learning experience is too often confined to the classroom.

But a recent initiative at Portsmouth High School (PHS) is aiming to change that.

Two years ago, a pair of members of the PHS science department – Dee Barrett and Kim McGlinchey – reached out to Peter Britz, the city’s chief Environmental Planner, about the possibilities for installing a rain garden.

Together, the three secured a grant from the Piscataqua Regional Estuary Partnership (PREP), a subsidiary of the University of New Hampshire. Britz was then able to procure matching funds from the city, which was used for excavation and grading of the garden.

Funding marshaled, the team reached out to Altus Engineering, a Portsmouth civil engineering with a robust background in municipal projects. While Altus’s range of undertakings is broadly impressive – and includes over 40 schools throughout the region – the company has always adhered to a constant pillar: making the project as eco-friendly as possible.

“Lessening environmental impacts has always been a chief tenant of ours,” said Eric Weinrieb, President of Altus. “With the PHS project, part of its purpose was to be an environmental teaching tool.”

Located adjacent to the football field, Portsmouth High School’s proposed rain garden –formally completed in the summer of 2011 – fits that ethos to a T. Boasting a host of plants native to the granite state, and shaped with the help of Terra Firma Landscaping, another Portsmouth-based company, the garden was and remains a beacon to local collaboration...

To read the full story in the Exeter Patch, Click Here!