JHS Outdoor Learning Environment Nears Finish

OLE Oct1

Beams and rafters have been constructed by JHS students; the structure now awaits a metal roof and electricity.

The Johnston High School Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE) has been progressing quietly throughout the summer and into the fall. The OLE has been a promising project of the Johnston Community School Foundation for the past three years as they planned, gathered support, and phased in key aspects of the one-of-a-kind outdoor classroom.

The Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE) represents a collective effort by the Johnston Community School Foundation, numerous JHS departments, City of Johnston, and Johnston Community School District to provide students with space and equipment to better study elements of biology, ecology, and environmental science.

Throughout the project, the Foundation has involved high school students as much as possible. Numerous students in JHS teacher Rhys South’s construction technology class have assisted with concrete pours and building. Just last week, the last pad was poured on the shelter site and beams and rafters were erected. From there, steel for the roof will be ordered and installed.

JHS art teacher Katie Black and her students have been painting a large shipping storage container that will also be placed in the OLE. The painting is nearly done and reflects themes of nature, learning, and exploration.

A once monumental project, the list of “to dos” is winnowing down. Once the shelter roof is complete, electricity will be installed in the shelter, adding lights and outlets. Topsoil with hydroseed will also be added to the area around the concrete pads and sidewalk.

Once complete, the Outdoor Learning Environment will serve high school students and teachers from all different types of classes. There is also a desire to bring in community members and younger students to take advantage of the unique and beautiful learning space.