Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Goodbye, Tree...

My school's name begins with the prefix "Sin" (pronounce "Shin") which means "new" when applied to places such as a cities, or in this case: a school. Apparently, when some of my co-teachers heard they were working at my school, they were a little surprised to see the outward appearance of the place - more than a bit ratty and tattered by the years since the main building was constructed sometime in the 1960s.

As you can see above, the place didn't look all that bad (on a sunny day anyway), that is until you get up-close and see the chipped paint and garbagio hanging off the window ledges (students don't seem to have school pride until after their middle school years).

Anyway, the school has been through some changes throughout the years, including a fairly extensive renovation of the inside floors, hallway windows, and ceilings last year. Over the winter break, the school has been undergoing a face-lift on the outside - stripped and repainted, as well as a new main entrance and sign, and redesigned windows in all of the stairwells.

The results are below.

Unfortunately, also lost is the school's tree which must have been planted long before the school's opening, and which can be seen in the background here.

The school is now breaking ground on its first gymnasium, which is a great for the staff and students, but a sad note for the area's natural history. The tree was extremely rare for the area, and it was universally loved. It served as the backdrop for many school photos and was a school landmark as well - appearing in school notices and featuring prominently on the school's website. In short, in the absence of any school mascot, there was this tree. A few of my grade 3 students, when leaving welcome cards for the new grade 1s chose to talk about the tree: "You will love Cheong Budle, it will give you shade on a hot day."

Well, no more. There's no need to be over dramatic about it. The school is growing in an important way, but I wish there could have been some way to have saved the tree as well. Green can be a rarity here - especially on sandy school grounds. It will be missed.


Douglas said...

Looks better than any of the schools I went to growing up. They all looked like fertilizer factories to me, with barely any windows. It's really important to have nice looking buildings for places of study because hell, it would motivate the hell out of me more if I cared for the building I was walking into each morning.

Tuttle said...

Hey, my school is putting in a gymnasium right now as well. All this despite a decrease of 28% in the education budget devoted to buildings and maintenance. To pay for free school lunches.