At the beginning of the school year, Zane Trace schools had a problem: how to space out students during their lunch periods and provide outdoor space for classroom learning? After some creative solutions proposed by ZT Administrators and teachers, the idea of creating the Zane Trace Student Courtyards was born. The two outdoor courtyards were designed for both middle school and high school students to utilize for their lunch periods to provide for increased social distancing and for teachers, coaches and staff to use for outdoor classroom space and student organization meetings.
Zane Trace High School Principal Ty Wertman approached the ZT FFA Advisors in early August to determine if the chapter could construct picnic tables to place in the courtyards. The chapter members responded by working with school maintenance staff to build ten picnic tables in time for the start of school and another additional ten tables before the end of September. Through the project members learned how to estimate required materials for a construction project, read layout and assembly plans, measure, mark and cut lumber and use a variety of tools and fasteners. Plenty of problem-solving and creativity skills were put to work as well to develop a system for safe, efficient assembly of all twenty tables.
FFA members and fellow ZT students and staff alike have enjoyed the opportunity to sit outside for lunch and class and the tables have also provided a nice spot for parents, students and guests to gather during sporting events at the school. Future plans for the courtyards include landscaping, laying outdoor surface tile and maintaining the appearance of the tables for winter. ZT FFA members are excited to be a part of all of these needs for the courtyard moving forward. This project is just one of many examples in which our members “live to serve” their community.