If you get within a block of the place, you can pick up on the energy. The air becomes charged with a vibe that is not just about excellence. Although being and doing their best is ultimately what I think of when I visit Carmel High School, I also witness activity on steroids. Not a criticism, but CHS is a decidedly energetic place. There is a lot going on from dawn to well past dusk every day at Carmel High School.
For several years now, CHS Art Teacher Jen Bubp has been looking out her classroom window onto a courtyard area and wondering whether it might make the perfect place to escape the buzz. Created during the construction of the Freshman Center years ago, the courtyard was underutilized, uninspiring and plain. She thought, “Could it be a place of retreat for students who might need a place to think, contemplate or even grieve?”
Mrs. Bubp proposed the idea of the CHS ArtsGarden to administrators and received back a “go for it.” CHS students got together and raised money to buy perennials and trees to beautify the area. On Oct. 27th, planting, mulching and sprucing took place, completing Phase I of the project.
Now it is time for Phase II, the more ambitious segment of the project. By adding cement seating and a pergola, the area can also provide an outdoor classroom giving students another venue where they can learn. In addition, other departments within CHS are joining in to add supplemental components. A bird bath and water feature from the ceramic students will compliment teacher Jonathon Kane’s students’ Personages display; symbols of human personalities hopeful of bringing people together.
Mrs. Bubp said, “People have responded so positively. They love honoring lives that have gone before us or are walking concurrently with us.” She is speaking about one of the fundraising concepts which allow students, teachers and staff to buy a butterfly ornament to honor a loved one. The ornaments will hang in the ArtsGarden. Live butterflies will also play a prominent role, thanks to the Biology Department.
But Phase II is still just an idea without funding. So far, $1,000 has been pledged by the Carmel Education Foundation, but $8,000 in donations is needed. If you or your company would like to sponsor a portion of the CHS ArtsGarden, please contact CHS Art Department Chairperson Jennifer Bubp at firstname.lastname@example.org.