It’s been a win-win this month for Harding Middle School as they earned support from the Iowa Clinic to develop a new double mini-soccer pitch and Prairie Meadows to improve the school’s courtyard.
The new soccer facility, being developed in conjunction with Kick It Forward, is designed to make the sport accessible to more students who might not otherwise be able to afford to compete in club soccer programs, as well as be a new asset for the neighborhood.
“The double mini-soccer pitch will be a great asset to the Harding community both during the school day and outside of school hours,” said Harding principal Christopher Schmit. “Harding students will have access to the mini-pitch during PE, recess time, and for after school clubs. Community members will be able to utilize the space outside of normal school hours and on weekends. We look forward to engaging community members at the updated facility.”
The facility also contributes to the health and wellness of its user, one reason the Iowa Clinic’s foundation donated $125,000 in support of the initiative to benefit students and the neighboring community.
For more information on the new soccer pitch, and a look at other Kick It Forward facilities, click here to enjoy a video.
Harding is also receiving support to improve it’s school courtyard, turning it into an area the can serve as an outdoor learning space and a new venue for school events.
A $20,000 Prairie Meadows Community Betterment Grant was awarded to support the estimated $45,000 cost of the renovation project.
“We are excited to provide an updated space for classes to use and for school events,” added Schmit. “We plan to have a permanent stage created for student performances and community events.”
The vision for the Harding courtyard is to create a space that will provide an ideal location for student performances and community events, as well as 2+ outdoor classroom spaces for daily use. The courtyard will feature mobile seating for students and families, wild Iowa grasses and plants to enjoy, and community garden spaces. Currently, the space is often neglected of maintenance, provides no seating for an entire classroom of students, and has no performance space or capabilities. The planned renovations will provide all of that, and a multitude of opportunities for our students to grow emotionally and socially, while cultivating a culture of pride in one’s school and community.
For a preview of the renovated Harding courtyard, see the photo album posted to the upper right.