Created on Wednesday, 02 November 2011 21:07
|The Solar Homestead house, pictured, became a symbol for sustainability and conservation in the Boone area as well as the entirety of North Carolina. Governor Bev Perdue, in light of the Solar Decathlon team winning 'The People's Choice Award', declared Oct. 28th to be Appalachian State University Solar Homestead Day. Photo courtesy of the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon|
Governor Beverly Perdue attended a reception at the Appalachian House Friday, signing a proclamation declaring Oct. 28 as Appalachian State University Solar Homestead Day in North Carolina.
“I was amazed and proud back in July when I saw what our ASU students were working on,” Perdue said during the reception. “So it didn’t come as a surprise to me when you beat both American and international universities as the People’s Choice in the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, or that your Solar Homestead was a top contender, winning second place in the communications contest and third for architecture.”
Dave Lee, Appalachian graduate and Solar Homestead communications coordinator, attended the ceremony as well.
“I gave her a big hug,” Lee said. “This was the second time I met her. I got to show her around the headquarters and give her a tour when she first came to visit but yeah, I was nervous. It was a big deal.”
Perdue met with the Solar Homestead team twice before the ceremony, once at Hardin Park Elementary School and once at the Solar Decathlon Headquarters. It was her experience at the headquarters that really attracted her attention to the team, Lee said.
“I think from her being there firsthand and seeing what we were doing and seeing how it really relates to the state’s goals – I think that made her realize the importance of it,” Lee said.
For the Solar Homestead team and Perdue, it wasn’t the awards that made the project worth it. Rather, they appreciated the university’s opportunity to compete and represent sustainability at Appalachian.
“I’m not just proud of what you’ve accomplished – designing and constructing this project – I’m also proud of how you demonstrated the incredible spirit of North Carolina,” Perdue said. “You made the project come together on your own. You partnered with the private sector to raise funds, while other projects depended on government sponsorship.”
Lee said he hopes Solar Homestead Day’s celebration will preserve the project’s mission in the future.
“Hopefully, by everybody coming out and seeing the solar homestead wherever it is, bringing attention back to the house and making sure its original mission, which is to educate and inform the public, is still going on,” he said.
Story: KELLI STRAKA, Senior News Reporter