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Outdoor classroom under construction at Chenango Valley

TOWN OF FENTON (WBNG) — An outdoor classroom is being built on Chenango Valley’s High School and Middle School Campus.

“It’s taking your standard classroom, and just kind of moving it with these beautiful surroundings,” said Superintendent David Gill.

It will be open to all students and will hold classes that naturally lend themselves to the setting.

“The science classes, the STEAM program that we run throughout the district. The plan is to have them do some instruction here,” said Gill.

That’s along with some classes you may not initially think of.

“I would love to see some of our P.E. classes maybe kayaking, or canoeing on the pond that’s with us, we have some paths around the area, so I’m hoping it’s really integrated into a lot of our different content areas,” he said.

The whole purpose behind the outdoor classroom is meant to benefit those who will be using it, the students.

“To show learning in a different environment. And using a different lens. Again, looking at the nature, looking at the pond here, looking at the paths, being in an alternative location if you will,” said Gill.

While the district says it’s important to get outside of the traditional classroom setting, it will still have the things that any of the rooms inside have.

“I think just that idea about learning in a different venue really offers an opportunity to expand a student’s learning and their vision of what learning looks like,” said Gill. “It will be heated, it will have electricity, it will have internet, I mean it’s really going to be, I feel, a top of the line kind of classroom.”

The outdoor classroom was part of the district’s capital project. It was already approved by voters and comes with no impact on local taxes.

Construction is expected to be completed this November, with students using it directly after.

Annie Flaherty

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