HINSDALE, Ill. — Concerns have been expressed about the demolition on First Street and Garfield continuing once school is in session, but Hinsdale Middle School students will encounter a construction site much closer at hand.
Tiered outdoor seating is being built in the grassy area on the south side of the school. An equipment problem caused a two-day delay in the schedule, so the work will not be finished until Friday or Saturday, said Michael Anthony, owner of 1 Design Group Inc., which is doing the project.
The firm is placing manufactured stone slabs in the slope of the ground to create three curved tiers of seating facing west towards an open field. The arrangement resembles an outdoor amphitheater with a seating capacity of 75.
“It’s a perfect area to do stadium seats,” Anthony said.
Hinsdale Middle School Principal Ruben Pena said he had been hearing about outdoor classrooms at other District 181 schools and liked the idea.
“I remember how much I liked being outside when I went to school,” Pena said.
Teachers already have talked about taking their classes outside, even during the winter, if the students are reading a story set in the winter, Pena said.
It will be a nice setting for students’ outdoor concerts, and the community could use it, too, Pena said.
The school PTO offered to pay for the installation, he said.
New sod will be planted around the stonework, but in the future other plantings may be done. The design firm will create an overall plan for how the area can evolve.
Then, when Boy Scouts ask the school about projects they can do to earn their Eagle rank, Pena can assign them part of the plan to tackle, he said.
The area will combine nature with technology, because Pena plans to have Internet access from an antenna on the school.