Formecology, LLC is Proud to be a Part of the TRIS (Theodore Robinson Intermediate School) Courtyard Design!

In continued efforts to be a proud supporter of the local community (and our students!), Formecology, LLC was excited to work with some of the Evansville School District teachers, staff, and committee members on a landscape master plan for their courtyard space at TRIS.

Formecology, LLC was told by ESD staff that many efforts went into this outdoor space over the years, but given the sheer size of the space, it became too hard to maintain regularly by one or two willing volunteers. With help from the students, the courtyard space is now almost cleared down to a clean slate and ready for a new use. Moving forward, it has been requested that the space be designed in a way that is clean and open with perhaps a few well-thought seating spaces and flower beds for lively color and wildlife attraction, while keeping it easy to maintain for the staff and students to enjoy more frequently. “We see out there every day and want it to be pleasing to look at”, says Sandy Papendieck, TRIS teacher.

(click design for a larger image)

Formecology, LLC’s landscape Architect, John Gishnock III, accompanied by Melissa Gishnock, project manager, met with ESD staff last week to present the design. Steve Shulta, Building and Grounds Director stated, “I’d like to see a cooperative effort, where we might utilize Formecology, LLC, our own limited resources, plus more student and staff labor to execute this design. I’m looking forward to discussing this in greater detail and very pleased that we’ll actually have a plan to work from, because I think that’s what’s been missing for this space”.

While keeping low maintenance and easy to maintain in mind for the staff, the design also targeted the safety and well-being of our children. “We wanted to design something that was safe, equitable, ADA accessible, natural & sustainable, educational, and mindful of our children”, said John Gishnock III. A few key highlights of the design include ADA accessible ramps proposed for all four courtyard access points, and concrete pathways added for ease of maintenance and of course wheelchair accessibility. Low-maintenance native perennial beds will provide beauty and color while attracting wildlife like butterflies, songbirds, and other pollinators. Concrete ‘study areas’ surrounded by low-maintenance grass covered seating mounds provide a fun place for outdoor teaching and learning. Large seating stones surround a small shade tree in the central gathering area and can act as a larger gathering space for bigger events or multi-class activities.

“The District will be looking to implement this landscape plan over time, pending the availability of funds and balanced against other facility needs,” states Superintendent Jerry Roth. Formecology, LLC looks forward to being a part of the implementation of the space as slow or as fast as the school district determines best.