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Site work underway for school's unique outdoor amphitheater.

When warm weather returns to Bergen County next spring, students and teachers at the Orchard Elementary School in Ridgewood will be able to enjoy the sunny skies, greening trees and fresh air first-hand in a new outdoor amphitheater/classroom now under construction.

Borst Landscape and Design of Allendale, N.J., launched site work for this unique teaching and learning facility in October. Orchard Elementary's Home School Association raised more than $110,000 to fully fund the project. The amphitheater has been designed to blend the original Orchard Elementary building, built in 1965, with a recent addition.

"The initial plan was to re-landscape an area, but the parents and teachers got together and really took it to the next level," said Mark Borst, president of Borst Landscape and Design. "Bleacher-style seating and a podium will lend to a truly functional space."

The amphitheater is being constructed with an interlocking concrete wall system, and patio surfaces will be finished with concrete pavers. Plantings in and around the structure will soften the overall look.

"Many of our teachers would like to hold classes outdoors, and we really didn't have a dedicated space for them," said Jennifer Parsekian, who headed the Home and School fundraising effort with Catherine Gould.

"Borst has created a plan that really pulls everything together seamlessly. They have been very proactive throughout the process, and the parents are excited to see the finished result." According to Borst, the Orchard Elementary amphitheater will be completed in mid-December.

"Our parents' and teachers' ongoing support and consistent commitment continue to make Orchard School a great place for our kids," stated Principal Bob Muller. "The Amphitheater Project exemplifies what is possible when parents, teachers, administration, and business come together. The best is yet to come!"
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Dec 13, 2006
Words:291
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