The Page Alumni and Friends Association is working to raise funds for our largest single donation to the school since our organization was formed nine years ago. We have partnered with other organizations and parents within the school to help with large projects in the past, but this will be PAFA’s largest gift to the school.
How many of you alumni remember the area just past the office doors, just outside the cafeteria, the Media Center, and the chorus rooms? We all walked past it a million times. It had a patio, but no chairs. It had doors to access the area, but they were always locked. It was surrounded by windows, just nothing to see other than an empty space. A beautiful patch of grass literally in the middle of the school, but no students could enjoy it.
The only time I ever remember seeing anyone in this area was in 1984 when I was a yearbook photographer, and I captured the “mock wedding” officiated by Al Bowers joining Aaron Dean and Pam Jones in 45 minutes of holy bliss in Mrs. Culver’s Life Education Class.
Doors are now OPEN leading from the halls into this outside space!! The patio is long gone since the Media Center was enlarged in 2004, and recently a walkway joining A-Wing and B-Wing hallways was added. The County decided this was the best formula to reduce the heavy traffic in A/C intersection and allow students to get to the cafeteria more easily, giving more time for lunch. Have you heard about our Cafeteria issue? It is the same size it was in 1958 when Page opened. Only seniors can leave for lunch, we now have ninth grade students, and the school is larger than it’s ever been. There’re not enough places to eat!
A couple of years ago, the Page Alumni and Friends bought ten picnic tables, then this past year we partnered with the Athletic Booster Club to buy five more so students could enjoy outside dining on Treasure Island. Now we have the opportunity to create a courtyard that will allow for 60-80 more students to have a place to sit when they eat, while creating an aesthetically pleasing area on our campus that can be used for other purposes, too.
Then we came to the problem of what sort of ground cover to use. Grass would be beautiful, but after a few days of students eating lunch there, the grass would be trampled, only to be followed by a mud hole after a decent rainfall. If gravel were used (similar to what we put on Treasure Island) they would need constant replacing, and the windows might look like too-inviting targets! Decking might work, but it would be exorbitantly expensive. In other words, we researched and kicked around lots of ideas before settling on what we felt will make the most sense!
A Concrete Solution. Our hope is to create a flowing concrete patio that will be surrounded by low-maintenance shrubs and decorative trees, topped with tables and benches for seating. Since grading is necessary to make the courtyard level, a step and a ramp making the patio handicap-accessible will be included.
This project is going to cost $18,000-$24,000. Ace Creative Concrete and Chandler Concrete have extended very generous pricing so our Association can make this a reality. Durable red and black metal picnic tables with thermoplastic coating (like the ones we’re bought previously) are $800 each. Plantings will need to be purchased.
This is where we really need parents and alumni to step up. We are hoping that you will help the PAFA in providing this greatly needed area for our students. We look forward to hearing from you!!! BUY A BRICK at $100 each. Each brick will have a name on it and become a permanent part of the courtyard. Buy a brick with the year you graduated, when your children graduated, in honor of your favorite teacher, in memory of a fallen classmates, a score from your favorite game you played in. Preserve your Page memories in a courtyard for future Pirates to enjoy.
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