Oyster River Middle School Earns Coveted LEED Gold Certification

Photograph of the Oyster River Middle School building showing the field in front of it, with the LEED organization logo and the following caption: ORMS is certified LEED Gold

The Oyster River Middle School is the first in New Hampshire, and the eighth school project in New England, to achieve LEED V4 Gold for Building Design and Construction (LEED BD+C): Schools.

Updated 5/31/2023: To view the building's system performance, please click here.

DURHAM – The Oyster River Cooperative School District is proud to announce that Oyster River Middle School has achieved the much sought-after LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold status for its innovation.

The Middle School opened in February 2022, following a multi-year project focused on four pillars: energy sustainability, academic mission, wellness and safety, and acknowledgement of local, regional, and state history.

Lavallee Brensinger Architects of Manchester developed the building plan to include state-of-the-art technology and energy efficient design.

The building roof includes a solar array. The parking lot features a canopy with solar panels, and an underground geothermal well.

Inside the school, hallways have been minimized. Classrooms were designed for maximum natural light, and include modern climate-control systems. Some art classrooms have access to a “living roof” with vegetation.

The lobby includes a dedication to the First Nations in the region, and the school’s effort to protect the environment.

Initial data shows that the school is creating 30 percent more energy than it consumes, exceeding projections.

“The Oyster River School District knows sustainability and wellness are critical to success – these are two of their four pillars,” said Doug Shilo, Sustainability Leader at Lavallee Brensinger. “In this project, these values are on full display, and we are proud to meet the rigors of LEED Gold certification. We are even more proud to inspire these students to be stewards of their environment and leaders in their communities.”

This project has earned Oyster River several milestones:

  • The Middle School is the first New Hampshire project to achieve Eversource’s Zero-Net Energy/Deep Energy Savings incentive program. The District estimates it will earn almost $300,000 in rebates once verified.
  • This project is the first in New Hampshire, and the eighth school project in New England, to achieve LEED V4 Gold for Building Design and Construction (LEED BD+C): Schools.

“ORMS students had a significant role in shaping the project. Their feedback regarding the new building was solicited early on and their responses demonstrated a clear respect for the world around them,” Principal Jay Richard said. “Our students can be proud of having a positive impact on the world.” 

Superintendent James Morse applauds the awarding of the coveted certification. “The Durham, Madbury, and Lee communities have again demonstrated their deep commitment to sustainability. The bond for this locally funded project received the support of 76 percent of voters and will enhance our learning environment for generations to come.”