An eco-classroom in Accrington is to be created by Empire State Building chiefs – to thank the town for providing the stone used to build it.
The foundations of the 1,454ft Empire State Building were made of Nori bricks exported from Hyndburn to America in 1931 because they were the densest and strongest in the world.
Now Malkin Holdings, the management company of the 102-storey Empire State Building, has pledged to sponsor some of the Nori bricks which will be used in the building which has been designed by pupils – as a thank you to the town.
The eco-classroom, thought to be the first of its kind in the country – will be insulated with straw and will be powered by its own wind turbine and solar panels.
Accrington Academy principal Andrew Bateman said: "The pupils wrote to the management of the Empire State Building because the foundations were made of Accrington Nori brick exported to America.
"There are those roots going back all those years to when the brick was first exported and that is a big part of it.
"They also saw young people with a real passion and out of their professional benevolence wanted to get out and support them.
"The fact that the project has got international recognition is putting a very positive spin on Accrington and means a great deal to the whole area."
Mr Bateman also hopes a representative of the Empire State Building will be able to come over and visit when the eco-classroom is built.
In November the Observer reported how Accrington Academy students were invited to a conference in San Jose to talk about the plans with 600 leading architects.
At the conference they were given a special award by the Council of Education Facility Planners International (CEFPI) recognising their architectural and design achievements.
Malkin Holdings did not attend the conference but the students wrote to them about the project and the company was only too happy to help.
In a letter to the pupils, company president Antony Malkin said: "We are very impressed by the initiative your team has shown and, more importantly, the potential to execute the programme that you have put together.
"We are hard at work with our Empire State ReBuilding programme, spending more than $550m on top of the bricks from your home district to repurpose our 2.9m square feet building and make it a model of energy efficiency.
"In order to move energy consumption down, we must focus on what is already built and build sensibly for the future."
Michael Gove, the secretary of state for education, has also praised the pupils for their professionalism in setting up their own company Roots to design the sustainable classroom.
Youngsters from the Queen’s Road West school were first approached by Clitheroe company Class of Your Own to create the eco-classroom over 18 months ago.
From there, Roots was formed, which is made up of 30 students aged between 13 and 15.
The classroom will be built using a sustainably sourced timber frame and glulam beams to create a flexible, column-free space.
The plans were approved by Hyndburn council’s planning committee last year.