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Ford and Paige Hemmis, Star of 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' Help Local School Take Step Closer to Becoming First LEED-EB Certified School in Oregon

Submitted by: Ford Motor Company

Categories: Green Building, Volunteerism

Posted: Sep 16, 2008 – 03:34 PM EST


Community volunteers and Ford help unveil green makeover worth $250,000 at Kelly Creek Elementary School in Gresham, Oregon

-- Ford Motor Company and Paige Hemmis from ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," accepted more than 35,000 entries in its Educate to Escape green school makeover contest.

-- Ford and Community volunteers, along with students and local sponsors helped lay final matting in place in eco-friendly playground before Paige cut ribbon announcing school's green makeover complete.

-- Students, parents, community members, school staff, and teachers were encouraged to nominate a school for the green school makeover by submitting an online essay to .

-- Local partners and donations help drive the project to completion by donating goods and services including light bulbs, whiteboards, excavation and flooring systems.

GRESHAM, Ore., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Kelly Creek Elementary School of Gresham, Oregon has announced the completion of their eco-friendly makeover as the winner of Ford Motor Company's Educate to Escape-a green school makeover campaign in partnership with ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." With the help of Ford and other local partners, Kelly Creek Elementary replaced their entire playground using eco-friendly and disabled access materials and structures, as well as updated water fixtures, tested ventilation systems, installed whiteboards and marmoleum flooring in a green makeover worth up to $250,000. The renovation of Kelly Creek Elementary has been in progress since August 2008 and was declared complete by presenter Paige Hemmis in a ribbon-cutting ceremony involving the entire community, who all pitched in to help with the final pieces of the green makeover.

The makeover sees the completion of an ambitious project which takes Kelly Creek Elementary School a step closer to LEED certification in the existing building category -- a nationally recognized green building rating system. The school received an entire playground overhaul -- redesigning the children's outdoor play area to make it both sustainable and kid-friendly. Local volunteers helped install green-friendly rubber matting tiles, created from recycled tires and uniquely designed to cushion any falls from the playground equipment, and assisted with laying the matting piece by piece. In addition,
two playground jungle gyms were replaced with brand new structures, designed and built out of recycled plastic and metal materials. These renovations are particularly welcome to Kelly Creek Elementary's large disabled student population -- the new equipment is fully ADA-accessible, allowing all students to enjoy the green-friendly and sustainable playground. Ford not only considered the outside when tackling this eco-friendly renovation, inside the school buildings, Kelly Creek Elementary's water fixtures were upgraded to more efficient models, ventilation systems were tested and eco-friendly whiteboards and marmoleum flooring were installed. Pending a performance review period, the school will be tested by LEED officials with the hope of awarding certification.

"Ford's Educate to Escape program has helped show the way for schools looking to make a difference and I was delighted to be there at the unveiling of the new-look Kelly Creek Elementary school," said Paige Hemmis of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." "In the long run, thinking green reduces the amount of energy used as well as the costs associated with running old or inefficient appliances. Schools minding their money due to budget cuts may find that integrating eco-friendly renovations will cut their costs dramatically over time."

Local companies generously donated equipment and services to help Kelly Creek Elementary reach their goal. These included Phillips, who donated light bulbs to assist with the project, PolyVision, who donated whiteboards, Forbo Flooring Systems who donated marmoleum flooring and Wanke Cascade who donated adhesive for the marmoleum installation. Ford also gratefully acknowledges the support of additional contracted partners including Hunter-Davisson Inc. who were contracted for ventilation testing and maintenance, Northwest Water Works who were contacted for upgrading water fixtures, local construction company Sitelines who was contracted for all playground construction and Roger Sayles Excavating Inc., who excavated the playground area. Sustainability experts Leonardo Academy helped advise on the makeover from the very beginning of the project and offered expert guidance on the LEED certification process to guide construction efforts.

Students, parents, community members, school staff, and teachers were invited to nominate schools for Ford's Educate to Escape contest. Entrants were asked to submit a brief essay about why their school deserves an eco-friendly makeover. Kelly Creek Elementary school is already passionate about recycling -- many students are enthusiastic members of the 'Aardvark' recycling action team, and help take responsibility for recycling and teaching younger students about sustainability. Kelly Creek Elementary was nominated by head custodian, Christa Garman. In her entry, she wrote, "Having opened in 1993, we quickly implemented an award winning recycling plan that has been recognized by the local community. The recycling program coupled with our energy conservation efforts has helped our school district maintain its status as a national leader in energy savings."

Kelly Creek Elementary School is located in Gresham, Oregon, and has 520 students ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade. As well as reducing solid waste by over 60% by encouraging recycling of all possible materials, the school's Aardvark team of 'green kids' spread the word by hosting school assemblies, giving talks at other nearby schools to sing recycling songs and talk about their programs, and attend the yearly Oregon Green Summit to learn more about sustainability and living green.

"Green living has always been a priority at Kelly Creek Elementary, and the students and staff were thrilled to be picked by Ford and the Extreme Home Makeover team to win this makeover" said Bob Goerke, Principal, Kelly Creek Elementary. "Our new playground is not only safe and durable, but sustainable, and we're proud to spread the message about green living to other schools across the U.S."

"We are pleased to see the completion of the project and to have made an impact on Kelly Creek Elementary through this green makeover," said Connie Fontaine, Brand Content & Alliances Manager, Ford Motor Company. "Ford's commitment to lessen our overall impact on the planet with our products and our manufacturing plants has now been taken to the educational front. Our hope is the Educate to Escape campaign will encourage schools nationally to think about what 'green' additions or changes (big or small) can be made to their own campuses."

"This campaign is a wonderful extension of our on-going partnership with Ford. Our Extreme Home Makeover families have benefited from Ford's generosity, now so will a larger community," said John Sadler, SVP, Integrated Marketing and Sales, ABC.

Paige Hemmis

Paige may be an unlikely vision on a construction site, but this statuesque beauty is an accomplished carpenter and skilled homebuilder. Paige is self-taught, with no formal carpentry training, and is rarely to be found without a tool of some kind in her purse. This dynamic and confident Wisconsin-born dynamo considers her role on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" a blessing and feels extremely fortunate to make her living helping others. In between extreme makeovers, Paige volunteers her time to Keep America Beautiful's "Great American Cleanup" and Habitat for Humanity.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Sundays, 8 - 9 p.m., ET)

Put together one very run-down house, a deserving family, several opinionated designers, seven days and what do you get? The answer is "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." The show has won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Reality Program, as well as the People's Choice Award for Favorite Reality Show/Makeover and the Family Television Award for Best Alternative/Reality Program.

For the fifth straight season, ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" ranks No. 1 in its Sunday 8 o'clock time period in the key Adult 18-49 sales demographic. During the 2007-08 TV Season, "Home Edition" beat its nearest competition in the time period by 6% in Total Viewers and by 10% in Adults 18-49. The broad appealing ABC unscripted series also leads its time slot among Adults 25-54 and across all key women demographics (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54).

This past season, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" began featuring green elements on every episode with eco-friendly, low energy and recyclable sources being incorporated into the builds. Concluding the show's two-year, 50-state tour, their two-hour Season Finale which aired on May 18 featured three homes for a family (all on the same lot) and a church in Louisiana. In a first-ever effort to put together a coalition of past builders from all over the country, the show called on the Building Industry to join forces and help successfully build what has been deemed the toughest challenge yet.

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. David Goldberg is President of Endemol USA. The series is executive-produced by Denise Cramsey and premiered December 3, 2003. The design team includes team leader Ty Pennington, with designers Paul DiMeo, Paige Hemmis, Michael Moloney, Ed Sanders, Tracy Hutson, Tanya McQueen, Eduardo Xol and John Littlefield. New designers this season are Rib Hillis and Didiayer. The show airs Sundays (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET), on the ABC Television Network.

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 229,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit

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