Outdoor Classroom

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My name is Mike Floersch and I am a math teacher at Rosemount High School.  As a teacher, I feel it is important to vary up the “classroom” setting for our students. There have been many days where I wish I could take my students outdoors to get them fresh air and a new learning environment. When I heard about the great work that our Rosemount High School Foundation does in raising money for teachers and students, I immediately filled out a grant proposal for an outdoor classroom. The foundation graciously accepted the proposal and gave a donation (along with a little help from IBM and the RHS student council) of $5500.  I am now excited to say that this project is a go.

Where will the classroom be?  The outdoor classroom will be located on the back of the school between the library and the North Wing addition where there is a courtyard that is not being used.  It will run alongside the retaining wall that you see in the photo.

How will it be used? The classroom will be a 36’x22’ canvas covered pergola that will have 9 picnic tables underneath it and a whiteboard. Teachers will be able to check this out (similar to a computer lab) and take their classes outside to get some fresh air and give them, simply put, a different learning environment. My goal is that this outdoor classroom will be used almost every day (when the weather is good of course) to include during the summer for summer school teachers and students.  Student council also plans to use it because they host different events for our students during the year in this back courtyard.

How will this get built? I have worked with a company called HGA who, at no cost to us, graciously created a design that I can bring up to the city of Rosemount when applying for a building permit. This process has taken a long time due to the fact that this is a public building and we have stricter rules that we have to abide by. However, we are in the final stages of getting this permit. Come spring time, when the ground has thawed out, I will begin the building stages.  I will be looking for volunteers to help me build the structure and dig the 18” by 5’ footings,  Unfortunately, at this time, we do not have the funds to pour a concrete floor or lay down patio blocks so I plan to put down outdoor carpet until we can get the funding.  If this is something anyone is willing to donate towards or help with, that would be fantastic and much appreciated.  I estimate the concrete floor would cost an additional $4,000 to $5,000.  Perhaps there is a parent or alumnae out there that owns a concrete business that would be willing to do this as a donation and tax write-off?

Thank you to our foundation for helping get this dream of mine off the ground and running.  Obviously, this wouldn’t have happened without them.  What I am excited about is that this outdoor classroom will potentially affect every student and teacher that walks through our high school doors for many years to come!  Many teachers have come to me excited about the classroom and can’t wait to see it completed.

Thank you for your support in making this dream a reality.

Mike Floersch
Rosemount High School Math Teacher
Mike.floersch@district196.org

Updated Photos

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