MANDATA — The new Randy Weiser Outdoor Classroom will be finished at Line Mountain as soon as temperatures start rising.
Gifted education instructor Lydia Bomgardner and student project leader Queenlyn Zartman said the memorial classroom is expected to be ready for use by April at the middle-high school courtyard area. The outdoor classroom honors middle school social studies teacher Randy Weiser, a 1979 alumnus, a 20-year educator and coach. Weiser passed away in September 2018 from cancer at age 57.
"It's a good idea to get outside of the classroom, enjoy some fresh air, and if you can't think of anything inside, you might think of it outside or read outside for fun," said Zartman, an eighth-grader. "Mr. Weiser was very nice, he was always supportive and was a good teacher."
Randy Weiser fished, hunted and coached the Rebuck Little League, Mahony Vikings football and the Line Mountain junior varsity baseball team, his widow Deb Weiser said at a public meeting in March. He built a family farm where he raised pheasants and was also a beekeeper.
"He loved the outdoors, and would take us out when it was nice," said Zartman.
The $8,500 plan, which was presented by Bomgardner and her students at a public school board meeting in March, comes at no cost to the district. The funds are being raised by volunteers through donations and fundraisers. They are still looking for more funding, said Bomgardner.
The first phase involved hardscaping — or the building of paths and walls — the second phase was the construction of wooden benches and tables and the final phase will involve landscaping for flowers and planters, as well as whiteboards, she said. There are already three bright yellow or blue picnic tables finished by the students.
"It makes it more accessible to everybody if there are things outside to do," Bomgardner said. "It's going to be beautiful. Other teachers are already asking about it."
Students and staff sanded and painted the picnic tables, B.M. Dietrich Landscaping in Mifflinburg provided discounted services and Meckley's Limestone Products in Herndon provided materials for free.
The art club students will paint the doors and brighten up the area and hope to have a sculpture pad in the area, Bomgardner said.