OUTDOOR LEARNING UPDATE
by Melissa Keeley, Director of Development
Since last spring, LCS parents have been helping the school create outdoor learning and play spaces on our 66-acre property. Parents donated their time and energy to clear brush, build trails, and create learning areas and play spaces for students. According to LCS Board member and parent, Eric Vanden Bosch,
“This project was a hands-on, tangible way that parents could help develop the property we have been blessed with to provide a new learning environment for their kids – One centered in a place where they could learn about and experience God‘s creation.”
The commitment of parent volunteers helped to create innovative spaces on our property to engage students in and through nature. Most recently, parents created a natural playground that includes logs to climb on, spaces to build and create using found objects from nature, and even a rowboat to spark imaginative play. Kids love playing in the space during recess and gravitate to the “messy areas” portion of the natural playground.
In addition to volunteer hours, our broader community generously donated almost $200,000 during the 2021 Black and Gold Fund Drive to build an outdoor amphitheater and learning pavilion. Due to delays in the construction industry, we will be able to officially break ground on the project this spring and with the help of our wonderful and committed parent volunteers, we hope to have it completed in early fall.
The learning pavilion will be constructed out of powder-coated steel by a company based out of Zeeland, MI. The monoslope structure will open up to the woods and fit approximately 60 students. The amphitheater will seat roughly sixty students with room for overflow seating. The stage will include a trellis made by the same company and out of the same material as the learning pavilion. Patios will be created outside of the commons doors to provide outdoor gathering spaces.