Charlotte Office Supports Students Involved in Hands-On, "Go Green with Landscaping" Project on High School Campus
August 17, 2010

The Building Group's Charlotte office has partnered with long-time client Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) on a variety of student initiatives over the years. Most recently, we got involved in a hands-on, sustainability related classroom project with students from the Olympic Community of Schools. Located on the former Olympic High School campus in the southwest region of Charlotte, the Olympic Community of Schools is comprised of five autonomous theme-based, CMS public high schools. The "Olympic Community," established in 2005, is partially funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

During the spring semester (2010), the Building Group's Heath Brafford, project superintendent, provided professional guidance to the more than 70 biology students at Olympic's School of International Business and Communication Studies who participated in the school's "Go Green with Landscaping" project. This effort culminated in a spring "planting party" at the end of the school year. Working alongside Central Piedmont Community College, Lowe's and Metrolina Landscaping, Brafford shared the Building Group's project management expertise, which included creating a schedule for the project.

The students designed and installed, and will maintain, a sustainable landscape filled with trees, flowers and shrubs. The project, funded by a Windows of Opportunity Grant from The Duke Energy Foundation (administered by NC Beautiful), was intended to take students out of the classroom and into the "real world" by creating an intersection between sustainability and business practices.

Brafford and other Building Group employees have teamed with the Olympic Community of Schools on other special projects, including helping students build several houses for Habitat for Humanity.