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Outdoor classroom unveiled
Outdoor Classroom pic 2
Black’s Mill Elementary School Teacher of the Year Lora Wright cuts the ribbon making the unveiling of the outdoor classroom official. - photo by Photo/Elizabeth Hamilton

Black’s Mill Elementary School held a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday, Dec. 15, to celebrate the unveiling of its outdoor classroom.


The PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) of Black’s Mill Elementary began planning for this project at the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year.


Providing classroom resources and project money for reading and other curriculum has been an ongoing project of the group. The idea for the outdoor classroom arose from teachers and parents wanting to provide something for the school that would impact the learning of all the students.


According to Black’s Mill Elementary School Principal Julia Mashburn, the outdoor classroom will serve several purposes and is a great addition to the school.


“We have been looking at a way to provide shade for the playground,” said Mashburn. This was one of the wants that led to the decision to build the outdoor classroom.


In the fall of 2007 the PTO began fundraising and was able to raise enough money, along with a nice contribution from McMahon Concrete, for a concrete slab to begin building the classroom.


Once the concrete slab was poured and ready to build on, the PTO continued their fundraising efforts and requested donations from local vendors to build the rest of the classroom.


Byrd & Stephens Building Supply donated the lumber materials and paid the labor costs for the classroom, and Greg Burnette of Metal Roofing Sales of Dawsonville donated the metal roof.


“Without the donations of these local vendors, this project would not have been possible,” said Jennifer Martin and Mandy McCracken, both vice-presidents of the PTO. “We greatly appreciate all of our sponsors.”


Other community sponsors for the classroom were McMahon Concrete, Chestatee State Bank, Tower Automotive, Roger Slaton State Farm, Home Point Mortgage and Stephanie Talley of Steph’s Trophies & Embroidery.


“I am really excited that this project was possible, because even in these economic times, the parents continued to support the fundraisers knowing that this was the project we were trying to complete. It is just wonderful,” said Mashburn.


The outdoor classroom is located behind the school, just off of the backdoors of the lunchroom, which overlooks the playground.


E-mail Elizabeth Hamilton at