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Waynesboro school may rejuvenate environmental site

April 22, 1997

By LISA GRAYBEAL

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Waynesboro school board members may consider rejuvenating the environmental site between the middle and high schools that was established 20 years ago but was left unused for a lack of money.

Board members took a guided walking tour of the site an hour before their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday to get an idea of a plan to develop an outdoor classroom, reconstruct wetlands, and improve wildlife habitats.

"We want the board to see the potential for the site," Superintendent Robert Mesaros said. "Very few school districts have a facility like this running through their property."

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Led by Pam Rowland, the district's elementary science facilitator, and Paul Gyurisin, maintenance supervisor for the schools, the tour took board members around the existing site that sits in a hollow midway between the middle school and high school.

"We want you to see what's here and what educational opportunities there are," Rowland told the group.

As if on cue, several startled ducks flew up as the tour proceeded along the stream that runs through the site and feeds into a pond. Several trees were planted years ago for the purpose of studying and identification, and a pavilion, which now stands empty, used to hold picnic tables.

Part of the plan calls for removing two tennis courts on the property that are in serious disrepair and haven't been used by the schools in years. Wetlands would take over that area.

Also proposed is the construction of a 1,000-square-foot outdoor classroom that would be used as a laboratory and gathering place for classes. The building would also include storage space and restrooms.

"The best way to study life and life science is to be out here," Mesaros said.

At one time, the school district supported the environmental site and an environmental program director, but both fell by the wayside for budget reasons, Mesaros said.

The board plans to discuss setting aside a sum of money in next year's budget to develop the environmental site. The district may also be eligible for federal and state grants.

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