Edison K8 School's new schoolyard.
The Brighton school will be transformed during the summer by adding new playground structures suitable to older children, an outdoor basketball court, a multi-season turf field, and an outdoor classroom.
The play structures will greatly expand the school's current equipment, which is only appropriate for children aged five and under. The older children currently have only bare asphalt to play on during outdoor recess.
The outdoor classroom will provide an opportunity for students to engage in hands-on activities related to science and nature, such as growing plants and exploring native habitats.
“The Edison community has merged into a K8 community over the last 2 years,” said Mary Driscoll, principal of the Edison K8 School. “Now our physical plant will also be K8 ready with engaging opportunities for learning and play for students of all ages.”
At the ground breaking ceremony [photo at top] were, from left, Principal Mary Driscoll, state Representative Kevin Honan, Mayor Menino, City Councilor-At-Large Stephen Murphy, and Allston-Brighton District 9 City Councilor Mark Ciommo. They were joined by many students, parents, and teachers at the ceremony.
In his remarks, Councilor Ciommo recalled memories of the days when he was a student at the school -- back when it was the Edison Middle School.
The schoolyard improvements are funded by the Boston Schoolyard Initiative.
A committee comprised of teachers, administrators, parents, community representatives (including from the Jackson Mann Community Center), and members of the Boston Schoolyard Initiative have been meeting since August 2010 in order to plan the new schoolyard. The committee toured other BSI projects in October 2010 in order to get ideas for their own project.
Construction on the $300,000 project is expected to begin shortly after school ends in late June 2011 and should be mostly complete by the time students return in early September 2011. The landscape design for the project was done by Warner Larson Landscape Architects.
The Edison K8 School, part of the Boston Public Schools district, serves approximately 750 students in ten grades from pre-kindergarten to eight. It was formed in 2009 by the merger of the Edison Middle School, Hamilton Elementary School, and Garfield Elementary School. The school has a focus on the performing arts—drama, music, and dance—and has partnerships with many area organizations, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston College, City Connects, Jackson Mann Community Center, Opera Boston, Peace First, and UBS Financial Services. Students and their families come from over 60 different countries and speak more than 20 different languages. Of the students the Edison serves, 83% qualify for subsidized lunch, 21% are english language learners, and 22% have special needs. The school is located at 60 Glenmont Road in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston.
Note: this story also appears on the Boston Globe's "Your Town" site for Allston-Brighton.