EM Stanton School Getting a Sweet New Schoolyard

The SRC had marked the EM Stanton School at 17th & Christian for closure back in 2012, but thanks to the hard work and advocacy of parents, students, and neighbors, the school has remained open. And it’s a good thing it did, as Stanton students have performed well academically and along with Chester A. Arthur at 20th & Catharine, Stanton provides the Graduate Hospital neighborhood with two public elementary schools. One knock against Stanton has been its schoolyard, a large asphalt lot that’s pretty much indistinguishable from a surface parking lot. But times are changing, and like the Arthur school last summer, Stanton is getting a new schoolyard.

View at 17th & Montrose
Closer look
View from the east side of the schoolyard

You can see, there’s already been considerable progress since work got started earlier this summer. This project is happening because of a fundraising campaign spearheaded by parent group Stanton Community Partners, which raised over $100K toward the effort. SCP is partnering with PWD, the School District, the William Penn Foundation, and the Trust For Public Land to accomplish this project, which should be finished in October. A representative from SCP provided us with a site plan and a rendering, to give a sense of what we can expect when the project is finished. H/t to the design team for the schoolyard, which includes AK ArchitectureThink Green LLC, Durkin Associates, and Playcare. While we’re tipping our hats, we’ll also give kudos to KIMCO, Alterra, and MIS Capital, the partners at Lincoln Square a couple blocks away, who made a sizable contribution to the cause.

School yard rendering
Site plan

You can see, the new schoolyard will include a playground on its western side and a turf play area on its eastern side. All around the schoolyard will be plantings, which will not only increase the beauty of the space but will also aid in stormwater management. There will be some outdoor classroom space, as well as a weather monitoring system which will track different weather statistics and relay the information to the school’s science lab. Throw in some garden plots and a track, and you’ve got a dramatic improvement for the students at Stanton as well as a great new amenity for the community. Judging by the crowds at the renovated Arthur schoolyard, we have to think this will likewise attract families outside of school hours. We look forward to seeing what the schoolyard will look like when the work is finished, and we’ll be sure to share some photos in the fall.