A palm tree casting shade above your head, the gentle strum of your peers playing some tunes, a beautiful, open area that fosters a relaxing and student-approved environment, and your chemistry textbook sitting on your lap as you lean forward and laugh with some of your friends: this is the future of Pine View’s Legacy Garden.
The Legacy Garden is one of the most highly anticipated aspects of the current construction on campus. The concept of this project has always sat quietly in the back of students’ minds, but there are some crucial updates and changes.
It is projected that the Legacy Garden will be finished around the end of the new building construction, which is either this summer or the following.
Originally, the garden was going to be near the office, but the location would have obstructed the view of the new building by haphazardly sticking out into the quad area. Instead, the location was changed to a spot near the technology building, so that the quad’s essential line of sight wouldn’t be blocked.
The garden will have a modern design and layout that is currently in the works. It will be adorned with two large serpentine-shaped structures that can be used as seating, along with other seating options. Florida-friendly flora and fauna will tower over the garden and cast an area of shade for students to study and relax between classes.
Additionally, the plaques on benches will be able to be dedicated to donors, engraved with the names of former staff and students. Other ideas include the engraved bricks that once formed a pathway outside administration being incorporated into their own, exclusive portion of the garden.
Social studies teacher Jenna Molinaro and former Pine View teacher Patti Gerlek, who both created the idea of the Legacy Garden, amassed the first sum of fundraising. There is a large sum of funds collected by them that is strictly reserved for the Legacy Garden; however, if funding is a struggle, more money will be collected through parents or alumni. Although social distancing does affect the way schools interact with these groups, the garden presents itself as a perfect vehicle to reach out and establish a stronger bond, especially with alumni.
When asked about what he hopes the Legacy Garden becomes, Principal Dr. Stephen Covert had an expansive and thoughtful response.
“We hope that this area…[is a place] where students can sit, maybe socialize, study, do homework, play guitar, just relax for a few minutes, and as they’re seated, hopefully they’ll notice these plaques on the benches and think of those students,” Covert said. “Twenty years from now, they’ll think of those giants whose shoulders they are standing on; that those kids from 2023, 2026 were the giants, and it will inspire them to make a difference, too, and plant their own tree or start their own garden.”
In the spirit of Pine View’s ever-popular motto, the hope for the Legacy Garden is to show current students that achieving the extra degree is possible.
“Hopefully it reinforces the idea that everyone can make a difference in the world, even if it starts with something as small as a brick or plaque in the Legacy Garden,” Covert said.
A version of this article appears in print on Feb. 19, 2020, page 3 of the Torch with the headline: Construction Updates on the Legacy Garden.