Grants help Hokes Bluff High School build outdoor classroom


 By Donna Thornton/News Editor

Hokes Bluff High School Principal Scott Calhoun credits teacher Lannis Marbut with coming up for the idea, but several people and organizations played a role in the school’s new outdoor classroom.

The classroom, a concreted area with decorative iron fencing had picnic tables and benches, to give students a place to spend break time, and for teachers to take classes outside for some activities.

Calhoun said Rep. Becky Nordgren helped the school find places to seek grants to help fund the project. Nordgren said because  the project is for an “outdoor” addition to the school’s educational environment, a grant could be sought and was received from the Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council, which partially funded the project.

In addition, the school sought and received a community development grant.

Calhoun said the area where the outdoor classroom is located was “all dirt and trees.” The City of Hokes Bluff assisted with the project by taking down the trees and hauling them away. He said he, the school’s ag teacher, the custodian and some students bolted the tables into the concrete. Calhoun said there’s room to put a few more tables and to add more benches to the outdoor classroom, and that is something the school may try to do in the future.

Calhoun said the project was completed just before school was out, but he’s looking forward to seeing students put it to use when they return to school in August.

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