Following a roof-capping ceremony in Vernonia on Oct. 6 for the formerly flood-ravaged town's 135,000 square-foot K-12 school, SolarWorld President Gordon Brinser announced his company would donate $50,000 in solar panels and $20,000 of in-kind funding to the school re-build effort.

A press release also said the panels, beyond providing low-cost sustainable energy, would serve as an educational tool for the community's children.

The city of Vernonia was severely damaged in 1996 and again in 2007 when the Nehalem River crested its banks.

The school, in particular, was structurally compromised. When completed in September 2012, the new Vernonia school is expected to be the first integrated K-12 school in the nation to have a LEED platinum certification.

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