|The new outdoor classroom at Lax Keen was designed with input from|
School staff and students
(Photo from PRPA)
The newest addition to Lax Keen school is outdoors, with a new outdoor classroom serving to add to the educational experience at the east side elementary school in Prince Rupert.
We made note of the new space earlier this month as part of our SD52 notes from October, today we get a bit of glimpse into the new facility, through some background from the Prince Rupert Port Authority.
The project was a partnership between the Port's Community Investment Fund and SD52, the sheltered space an area which encourages students and educators to take their lessons outside, where they can experience their surroundings in a unique, safe, and accessible environment, and provides a new place for local daycares and other community groups to meet for outdoor activities, rain or shine.
The outdoor classroom is directly beside the school’s accessible playground, which was built in partnership with PRPA through a previous Community Investment Fund project with the Lax Kxeen Elementary School Parent Advisory Committee.
Nestled near the school’s gymnasium entrance, this location provides additional protection from the elements and direct exterior access to washroom facilities, which community groups can also gain permission to use.
Built by local contractors, the 20’x20’ steel structure features a skylight, allowing natural light to illuminate the space. The soft rubber flooring is extended from the playground into the classroom area, making it accessible for people with varying degrees of mobility.
Former Lax Keen Principal Susan Kobza who was an really proponent for the project noting of how it will add to the experience at the school.
“Taking students outside is good for their mental health and wellbeing, and it adds a different perspective to the classroom experience by expanding their learning environment and allowing them to engage all of their senses. Using the outdoor classroom as a starting point, classes can then carry on exploring the nearby creek and green spaces that surround us, learning hands-on about our natural environment.”