Fayetteville holding fundraiser for outdoor classroom/pavilion
by Mark Ledbetter
Feb 17, 2012 | 2703 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
FAYETTEVILLE – When the new facilities for Fayetteville School were completed in 2005-2006, no money was budgeted for landscaping.

Jimmy Pursell of Pursell Farms stepped in and offered to have Auburn’s Horticulture and Landscaping Department assist in developing a master plan. Five graduate students developed a master plan for the 17-acre campus.

Although she said she was skeptical at first, then principal Dr. Patsy Lagan kicked off the project by meeting with the school and parents to introduce the project.

Pursell Farms, OMYA, SAFE and Gina’s Wholesale Greenhouse have provided donations, advise and labor. Faculty, students, parents and community residents have donated their time, energy, equipment and materials.

The master plan developed by Auburn graduate students was designed to make the 17-acre campus a “living classroom.”

Over 290 trees and 275 shrubs native to Alabama have been planted on campus. A new entrance sign has been constructed.

Teachers Tammy Pennington and Susan Shaw are especially proud of “sensory” and thematic gardens planted and maintained by all grade levels.

The sensory garden includes an assortment of plants that appeal to the five senses. The thematic garden features cotton, herbs and other “cash crops.”

According to information provided by Pennington and Shaw, teachers and students are already using the new outdoor areas “to make connections with the skills of math, science, language and history that are needed in the 21st century.”

In front of the gym a “senior” area where senior high students can gather for classroom events, meals and fellowship is being landscaped thanks a donation from the Coosa Valley Soil and Water Conservation.

In January 2009, the Fayetteville School Foundation was organized to facilitate the oversight of the landscaping project. Over $200,000 cash and $200,000 “in kind” donations of labor and equipment have been collected for what they have completed.

Although Lagan retired as principal in 2010, she still remains active in the landscaping project by serving as president of the foundation. She said she is excited about the next foundation project.

Separating the school’s football complex and softball field is wetlands. The foundation wants to construct a raised boardwalk and outdoor pavilion that will not only connect the two facilities, but also serve as an outdoor classroom.

Lagan said the walkway and pavilion would be both “functional and educational.”

Construction estimates are $90,000. The foundation has $60,000 and needs to raise the remaining funds. The county school system has committed to help with the construction bidding once the total amount is raised.

The Fayetteville School Foundation hopes to raise $30,000 by conducting a fundraising event at the school gymnasium March 10 from 5:30-7 p.m.

Tickets to the event will cost $100. The price of the ticket includes admission, dinner for one, and a chance to win a grand prize and door prizes. A reverse drawing will be held for the grand prize of $10,000.

Extra dinners can be purchased for $12.

All tickets must be purchased in advance and are available from foundation board members or by calling 256-315-5568.

All money raised will go toward construction of the wetland pavilion.

Individuals can become a foundation sponsor by making donations to the foundation.

Contact Mark Ledbetter at mledbetter@dailyhome.com