new outdoor classrooms

As of September 2023, Greenville Central School District students have access to new outdoor classrooms outside the Middle School/High School Library and in the Elementary School Courtyard. These grant-funded spaces offer students an opportunity to learn in an alternative setting. 

“Why be stuck inside and miss the sunshine?” said Monica Lunde, a high school math teacher. Already, teachers and students in the middle school and high school are enjoying the space and have plenty of good things to say. Lunde said that the fresh air “gets brains working.” Not only are teachers using this space for classes, but it also gives older students a place to sit during lunch and recess periods. Jaden Bolduc, a 10th grader, said, “It’s a 10 out of 10.”

The District received the money for the outdoor classrooms through COVID-19 stimulus funds. Both the elementary school classroom in the courtyard and the middle school/high school pavilion are funded by stimulus money. Todd Hilgendorff, the Assistant Superintendent for Business, explained that there are “multiple different buckets of stimulus money” that were made available to the District over the last few years. These outdoor projects are specifically funded by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA).

The idea for the two building projects began when the middle school/high school library was being renovated. The original idea was to build the outdoor classrooms at the same time as the library renovations, although according to Todd Hilgendorff, “pricing wise it just didn’t make sense.” So, after receiving stimulus money the idea for the project was revived and the bidding for contractors began.

With colder temperatures on their way, fewer teachers are using the space but when it begins to warm up again, teachers can sign up in the main office to use the outdoor classroom spaces.