The Meridian Outdoor Facility Renovation Project is a school and community-driven project that is designed to enhance both our academic and extracurricular activities within the school district. This project is specifically designed to expand our academic programs by incorporating more nature-based activities into our curriculum and continue to grow our outdoor extracurricular programs, specifically tied to athletics and arts.
The last year and a half have been very challenging for the greater Sanford community, but with determination and resilience, we continue to move forward together. The Meridian Public School District is the heartbeat of our community. A strong commitment to our students and stakeholders as we move forward will help sustain our momentum and progress.
The Meridian Outdoor Facility Renovation Project aims to make the following improvements to our outdoor learning and athletic spaces which will include:
Meridian Public Schools have seen steady or growing enrollment over the last decade and the 2021-22 school year enrollment looks to be one of the largest during that period despite the impact of the May 2020 flood and the Global Pandemic. We have more than 500 athletes participating in outdoor sports with another 300 who participate in our community youth programs. Our 135 member high school marching band is one of the best in the state with one-third of our high school students participating in this activity.
In addition, these same outdoor spaces are some of our largest classrooms as they are used by our K-8 physical education classes. We are also very excited about our new partnership with the Chippewa Nature Center and our ability to incorporate a nature education program into our K-4 elementary curriculum and the ability to add this hands-on experience to our high school biology curriculum.
All told, this project will annually impact over 1,000 different students, which is over 75% of our student population.
At this time, the Meridian Board of Education has approved and committed $1,000,000 of funds to be set aside for this project. In addition, the Board has also approved an additional $150,000 for the continued maintenance of these upgrades.