School Grounds Facelift


"Yes, go for it" was all this group needed to get to work. For years, the soccer field has doubled as a path from the Grade school leading to the High school. On sunny days it's fine. When it rains and snows, the field becomes a swamp. The alternate route turns icy during Winter months.


We've made it work. But it could be better. Now it is.


MAKING IT WORK


Many of us remember our time in grade school, walking in a line over to lunch. It's a straight shot from one school to the other so dozens of little feet would wear down the grass path quickly. We would get dusty, but we didn't mind -- we were on our way to lunch!


Cue a rainy day. The swampy field mixed with young, energetic bodies is a muddy mess. Teachers would trudge their students the long way around, in between the church and Father's house. Everyone would be soaked but mud-free.

Then it would freeze. Winter in Kansas is cold and snowy with a chance of an ice storm. The soccer field would become a slosh pit so it must be avoided. The long way around seemed to be a good option except for the giant ice sheets that would inevitably form over the concrete.

With no good options on the table and hungry children, teachers carefully led their classes over the ice, encouraging careful steps on the patches of exposed concrete. Every now and then, the line leader would lose their footing and the line of first graders would tumble like dominos. Thankfully, everyone was protected by a puffy winter coat so they’d laugh while trying to help one another regain balance.



MAKING IT BETTER


Local Catholic school administrators have been aware of these problems and proposed a solution: resurfacing the field would prevent the flooding and installing concrete sidewalks would offer a safe path across the campus. While the school grounds were vacant in Spring 2020, administrators discerned it to be the proper time to get the ball rolling on these projects.


The Holy Spirit was at work because ideas to improve the school grounds were not only inspired in the school’s administrators.

At the same time, a gentleman by the name of Pat Ziegler was spearheading some Cornerstone work to remove a generations-old mobile classroom foundation north of the high school. While working, Mr. Ziegler began to wonder, “what would happen if we did a little dirt work to enhance the landscape of the grade school campus? With students at home, what long overdue projects could we get done this summer?”


As several interested parties observed Pat’s work, they walked over and struck up conversation. It didn’t take long for a game plan to develop addressing some long overdue projects. Once approved by parish and school officials, the work commenced.

It was this spirit of resolve, steadiness and faith that led to a significant face lift of the grade school grounds.