School Improvement Projects

Middle School Alley Improvement Project Ideas:

Lean-To PE Shed

Drinking Fountain:

The construction of the basin itself is still to be determined

Phase 3: Build Pedestal, add Basin, and Bubbler

3.A. Place river rock and mortar into place; clear/clean "grout" areas

3.B. Build step(s)

3.C. Set basin into place and connect plumbing

Phase 2: Flat-stone (flagstone?) Ring & Fountain Center

2.A. Excavate and grade the circle (about 5' diameter, 8" deep)

2.B. Compress soil then add with base rock, compressing between layers

2.C. Place cinder block (or similar) in center and extend/attach plumbing

There are three distinct phases of construction:

Phase 1: Plumbing and Drainage:

1.A. Digging the drain basin and filling it with 3/4 inch drain rock.

1.B. Digging the trenches for the water pipe (incoming) and drain (to basin).

1.C. Connecting pipe (w. valve) from existing water source to fountain location.

It would be great to have a drinking fountain in the alley. The image to the left shows one that would look great in the middle of the alley (near room 27?). There are existing copper supply pipes behind the fence so trenching would be minimal. A drain pipe to a rock pit would probably be sufficient for outflow.

The head and plumbing will probably cost about $200 and the materials for the column will run another $100 (we have some large river-rock available. I can't estimate the basin cost. The ring of flagstone (and the base-rock upon which it is built) will also add another $200 to the project. Assuming that teacher, student, and parent labor is free and adequate, the total is $500.

Work Crew:

Zaynab, Karen, Delenn, Gale, Alisa, Alex, Hali, Francesca, Thomas, Ciaran, Maggie, Daria, Patrick, Julian, Monika

Tree(s): Lets get a tree to add to the native plant garden. They should go in one or all of the following 3 places: the middle of the existing garden (in the bare spot); in the rock circle against the fence next to the redwood benches; or in the rock-bound planter that is to the east (?) of the waterfall.

Fence Plants: Along the back of the chain-link fence irrigation pipe installed to provide water for vines and other plants that we put in every few feet along the fence.

Redwood Benches and Archway/Arbor: Benches, similar to the ones that were installed by room 26 could be built and installed in other areas such as the corner of room 20 or under the tree behind the library. Archways or arbors could cover the benches.

A Water Feature: A "pond-less waterfall", possibly powered by a solar panel located by the California Native Plant garden near the center of the alley. Majority of the cost of this project goes towards the liner, the boulders, and the stream bed rocks. When I built one of these at my house it cost about $300 for materials, some of which I have left over and would like to donate. Peninsula Building Materials has generously donated some of the rocks in March.

April 3 Workday:

    1. Find access box for underground wires (done)

    2. Define layout of mountain and remove tanbark (done)

    3. Cut cage and roll boulders to waterfall (done)

    4. Dig boulders into perimeter position (done)

    5. Move in dirt and build mountain bounded by rocks (done)

    6. Build and shape mountain with dirt and retaining rocks (in process)

    7. Dig pit for plastic pond (in process)

    8. Buy kidney-shaped plastic pond from Home Depot

    9. Buy 10' x 20' .45ml liner from Tse Koi in San Jose

    10. Buy 8 to 10 flat moss-rocks from Peninsula Building Materials

    11. Buy Becket 3600 gph AC pump

    12. Fit plastic pond and liner into position

    13. Connect pump to power (inside pipe)

    14. Pump plumbing (flex tube to top of hill)

    15. Place rocks into streambed

Special Thanks To:

Interlocking Pavers to Replace Tanbark: I helped to build some large sections of patio when I was at Kennedy Middle School. This page shows the process. Perhaps parents who help and/or donate can get names engraved onto a paver. If the school ever moves, the pavers can go with it.

Pacific Interlocking Paverstone in Cupertino gave us a price break on the pavers and the baserock was the majority of the cost. This is a good muscle-building project.