Parkway Sommerville Center Learning Garden
In partnership with Texas Tech University’s Urban Tech and FBT Architects, Groundwork Studio worked with the nonprofit Parkway Sommerville Center to create a Learning Garden for the Center’s at-risk student population. In collaboration with Parkway Sommerville Center, Groundwork Studio worked to secure funding for the project through a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and developed promotional materials for community outreach. Community members donated approximately $50,000 to provide site furnishings and musical instruments. An additional $150,000 in private donations is supporting the current playground install.
The Learning Garden added a 3,700 sf outdoor classroom at the east side of the existing Parkway Sommerville Center, providing a safe, comfortable and educational space outside of school hours for the Center’s at-risk student population. The garden includes a shade structure, seating, pathways, trees and plantings to support and facilitate instruction for the Center’s youth development curriculum.
In addition to providing a comfortable and safe outdoor space that extends regular classroom area, the Learning Garden provides students with the opportunity to engage in creative activities and interact with natural material, plants and agricultural methods. This type of learning environment has been shown to be very successful in increasing student focus, composure and creativity due to the stress-reducing effects of contact with nature.
The second phase of the project, which includes a nature-themed playground and interactive rock fountain, is currently under construction.
You have yet to arrive empty handed to our meetings. We just could not have selected a better firm to work with. The thing that stands apart for us is that you understand our needs better than we do.”
Dela Esqueda, Guadalupe-Parkway Sommerville Centers,Lubbock, Texas
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