The A.B. McDonald Elementary Outdoor Classroom is a unique collaboration between the two schools, providing invaluable experience and knowledge to the students who created it, and safety and resources to the students that will use it for years to come.
After witnessing the challenges and pressures brought on by Covid-19, these design-build students were determined to proactively respond to the needs of their local community. They identified several focus areas and undertook an extensive outreach effort, leading to a partnership with the local school district.
A.B. McDonald Elementary has long advocated for outdoor learning and allows students to use the greenery surrounding the school for varied educational activities. An outdoor seating area was located on the site in the past, but was removed in 2018 for safety reasons. With the onset of Covid-19, the school recognized the need to rebuild. They required a permanent and centralized focus area to organize the outdoor space. This would allow students to socially distance and safely enjoy the benefits of the outdoors while giving the teachers the structure needed to guide a class.
The team worked with the principal, school district officials, and engineers to ensure that the classroom would withstand the test of time. For now, it will help young students from kindergarten to 5th grade transition back into normalcy. In the future it will serve as a safe and durable gathering space for the children of the community.