School closes in on courtyard-canopy funding goal

Lesley Wright, Opinions Editor

Walking through the pouring rain from chorus to her friends, junior Lyza Galloza covers her head with her physics binder as she races across the courtyard in an effort to not end up looking like she’s just come back from an afternoon swim. But, with the prospect of a new canopy covering over the rectangular area between the cafeteria and Building 5, students won’t have to worry about unexpected thunderstorms for much longer.

“We’re looking at a two-year process, more or less, depending on how fast we can fundraise the money for it,” Assistant Principal Jim Melia said. “We have raised $53,000, give or take, and we need $78,000 overall, not including electricity, which we would need if we wanted lighting or ceiling fans installed.”

Galloza expressed enthusiasm for the proposed addition.

“I think the covering is a good idea because it rains a lot in Florida and a lot of the time everyone tries to cram in the hallways so the people who are rushing to class get soaked,” she said. “And it gets super hot too, so a covering would provide much needed shade.”

Principal Rick Fleming says the design will be beneficial.

“The covering will be raised in the middle to a height of 28 feet and events such as volleyball games can take place under it,” Fleming said.

Melia added more specifics about the outline for the canopy.

“The covering will consist of aluminum panels with installed concrete footers for support,” Melia said.

But more than $25,000 still needs to be raised for the canopy project to begin.

“We’re going to form a committee that will discuss more ways to fund-raise, and we are thinking about getting business partnerships,” Melia said. “But plans for construction can’t start until we raise that money.”