Education: Sunshine School

During the 1973-74 Arab oil embargo, Virginia's Fairfax County school board decided to build an innovative, energy-saving school. Blueprints called for a partly solar-powered building, buried underground so that the heat generated by students, lights and machinery would not escape. When the board took its plan to the federal Energy Research and Development Administration in search of a grant, it got nowhere. Then, a Washington consultant for Saudi Arabia, who had read about the school, asked the board if it would be interested in a "private" investment. It was, and a $700,000 grant from Saudi Arabia's Al Dir Iyyah Institute followed.

The...

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