Written By Stevie Walker, FGHS Senior, and Advocate writer. This is her last contribution to The Advocate.
Every freshman knows of the great urban legend: the swimming pool on the roof. No one knows how it got there, and no one has actually seen it. But ask any upperclassman and they will tell you: it’s real. As my last week of high school comes to a close, I decided I would go look for myself. I am excited to say I can confirm the existence of the legendary swimming pool (shown in the picture below). What a day it was.
All jokes aside, a few months ago I learned about something way better than a swimming pool on the roof of Forest Grove High School: solar panels. When the new science wing was constructed, 54 solar panels were installed on the roof. Since their installation, 63,700 kWh of energy have been generated. To put this in perspective, that’s the equivalent of 5,620 gallons of gasoline offset, or 38 tons of carbon dioxide not put into the atmosphere.
It was so exciting for me to see and learn about strides in sustainability that the Forest Grove School District is making. Mr. Goldsmith, our facilities manager, told me that the new Joseph Gale school also has solar panels on their entire roof. Not only do they help lower our district’s carbon footprint, solar panels also save money that would previously be paid to get electric power from the grid. Furthermore, the solar panels on our high school’s roof will last over twenty years.
As the world’s energy demands increase, it is becoming increasingly important that we look to renewable alternatives. Conservation and efficiency are two key factors in finding solutions to meet our energy needs. The Forest Grove School District has already started thinking in that direction with the installation of solar panels at FGHS. I hope that in the future they will be able to install more and find ways to help our district generate power efficiently and sustainably.
And who knows? Maybe someday someone will actually put a pool on the roof.
More info on Forest Grove High School’s solar panels: