On the Middle School grounds sits a courtyard, approximately the size of 10 classrooms, that can only be accessed through a boy's bathroom, and therefore is not open to students. For Middle School Assistant Principal Maryellen Grady, that unused space seemed like a wasted opportunity. Now, her vision of creating a multi-functional learning and hangout environment is becoming a reality as the "Sky is the Limit" courtyard revitalization project is getting underway.
To get the project started, Grady enlisted the help of the School Climate Committee, which initially comprised of teachers, parents, and a student representative. Several other students were added to the committee this year to help with the project.
When completed, the courtyard will include several outdoor classrooms, including one designed for science experiments, a reading and study area, picnic benches for outdoor lunches, a frog pond, and a stage and movie theater for movies, dances, plays, and presentations. The courtyard will also be eco-friendly as it will include composting bins and solar panel lampposts. For both Grady and the students, the benefits of this outdoor outlet are endless.
On April 25th, Grady alongside a few student representatives as well as Hopkinton-based architect Tom Dawson, who designed the layout, presented their ideas to the School Committee, and were met with enthusiasm for the project.
The plan is to make the space open to not only Middle School students, but to the entire community. Currently, the plan is to do the renovation in phases. The first phase, creating additional access points besides the boys bathroom, will cost approximately $20,000, and is slated to be completed by the start of the new school year. To date, the school has raised over $9,000, including an $8,000 donation from the Hopkinton Education Foundation, which is enough money to build one door. The entire project is estimated to be completed by no later than 2016 and will cost roughly $200,000. To donate money, time, or ideas to the project, contact Maryellen Grady at (508) 497-9830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.