VIENNA - Greenmont Elementary School will unveil its new outdoor classroom pavilion next week, a project more than two years in the making.
Principal Brett Ubbens said the school's Parent-Teacher Association began raising money to renovate the outdoor area more than two years ago, and this summer put $7,000 toward the project. Thousands of dollars in materials and labor also were donated by area businesses, he said.
The pavilion will be unveiled at 4 p.m. Tuesday during the school's ice cream social.
Photo by Michael Erb
Principal Brett Ubbens stands inside Greenmont Elementary School’s newly completed outdoor learning pavilion. Plans for the pavilion began more than two years ago and the structure was completed this summer through the efforts of the school’s PTA, area business donations and volunteer help.
Ubbens said the original area was built more than 20 years ago and consisted of stone benches and tables.
"Nobody ever used it," he said. "It was just too hot. There was no shade."
District crews and volunteers put down a large concrete pad and built a wood pavilion with a metal roof over the area. The 41-by-21 foot structure holds six eight-foot picnic tables and can seat about 60-70 students.
"This will allow us to use this area and to get the students out of the classroom for projects and lessons," Ubbens said.
Those original benches and tables have been moved to the side of the new pavilion, closer to 59th Street.
"We wanted them to still be used but in a more shaded area," Ubbens said.
Ubbens said the project isn't yet finished. In addition to some finishing touches on the pavilion itself, Parkersburg High School student Andrew Waters plans to install 13 raised planting beds next to pavilion as part of an Eagle Scout project. Those planting beds, Ubbens said, will be used by classrooms for different planting projects.
School officials and parents also hope to plant more trees, butterfly bushes and sunflowers. Ubbens said he even has plans to plant a small group of fruit-bearing trees in a vacant area near the pavilion.
Every item built or planted, he said, will be followed by projects and lessons for the students.
"It's not just putting things out there just to do it," he said. "It all needs to tie back to the kids, to academics and the community."