Halls marks milestone for outdoor classroom

By Ken Lay


The air smelled of barbecue and the Halls High School band’s saxophone ensemble played a few classic jazz tunes while the community’s schools celebrated a milestone anniversary for the Halls High School outdoor classroom Thursday night.

The classroom benefits students in all areas at HHS, Halls Middle School, Adrian Burnett Elementary School, Halls Elementary School and Brickey-McCloud Elementary School, and it was conceived in 2003 to benefit students in the Halls Community.

Thursday night’s celebration marked the 10th annual party for the classrooms.

The schools’ students and teachers may reap the benefits of the outdoor classroom, which was made accessible to students with disabilities after last year’s celebration.

Roy Arthur, Knox County Watershed Coordinator, was the Master of Ceremonies and this year, he noted that this year “there was plenty to celebrate.”

This year, those associated with the Halls Outdoor Classroom, celebrated its corporate sponsors and partners.

“We have numerous partners and there are far too many to mention here,” Arthur said before presenting a sign to Hallsdale-Powell Utilities District Chief Executive Officer Darren Cardwell. That sign will soon be seen in front of the Hallsdale-Powell Customer Service Building.

Other partners recognized included the Halls Business Association, the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, Marco’s Pizza, the Halls Women’s League, Tennessee Valley Authority, TVA Federal Credit Union, Knox County Solid Waste and Boy Scouts of America Troop 506.

“We’re happy to have the Halls Community and the people of Halls behind us,” Arthur said. “We couldn’t have done this without the help of the community and our partners.

“A lot of the projects that you see here were Eagle Scout Projects.”

The 2017 celebration included an aquarium, a petting zoo and some kids’ games.

Arthur said that there are more projects in the works for the outdoor classroom but noted that he’ll meet with the teachers, the administrators and the steering committee.

“We’ll get together in the summer and we’ll talk to the teachers and the students and see what they would like to see done.

“We’ve had 10 of these [celebrations] and I’ve been to all 10 of them and I have enjoyed every minute of them. We do everything for the teachers and students. We don’t do any of this for us.”

Ruth Anne Hanahan, of Knox County’s Adopt-a-Watershed Program said that the outdoor classroom at Halls is special.

“We have things here for all the students,” she said. “We have things for science students, the ecology students, the art students and the English students. We have opportunities here for work-based projects and this is in a perfect location.”

This year’s party featured an art show with work from Halls High School students and exhibits from those in the school and the business community.”