By Elsa Maxey
There’s a new classroom at Dulles Elementary School and it’s outdoors in the playground area. So why shouldn’t there be a gecko?
Complete with the required city permits, it was built by Boy Scout Troop 731 with 16-year old Andrew Smith, a junior at Travis High School in the lead role as an Eagle Scout. The classroom was dedicated last week on Thursday. In front of it, there’s about a 3-foot gecko, a metal lizard sculpture, created by local Sculptor Lee Benner of Sugar Land.
The classroom project is a vision of the school’s teachers and it was constructed over a weekend this month. The school’s PTO donated $500 to the joint effort, said the organization’s co-president Julie Conroy, who shares duties with Kim Ratliff. The total cost of the project was $3,000 and also includes money raised by the scouts, who designed and built the contained classroom under a large oak tree.
The project consisted of a 20×20 wood deck with a built-in work table and two benches to accommodate an entire class. A ramp will soon be installed making the outdoor learning setting handicap accessible. It is located near a butterfly garden in the playground which call for plans for it to be further developed in conjunction with the Cockrell Butterfly Center this upcoming fall.
Dulles Elementary School Principal Jill Clay was on hand for the dedication and unveiling of this special place for children to learn in what may well just be the first outdoor classroom in the area. The first built by Boy Scout Troop 731, that’s for sure!