State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Letter from the Editor: Old school no longer

by on August 01, 2017 11:39 AM

When I was in high school in the mid-1970s, schoolmates and I were fortunate to attend most classes in a new, state-of-the-art building.

State-of-the-art at that time in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, meant an open-floor concept in which most classrooms were separated only by movable partitions.

If a student and a teacher in an adjoining class were having a bad day, the whole building knew it.

It was a building, I recall (and recalling gets more challenging by the day!), with lots of cement and not a whole lot of windows. If a class was in the interior of the big space, there were no windows at all.

Still, everything was clean, and fresh, and new, so all in all it seemed pretty nice.

I was thinking about my school when two Town&Gown colleagues and I recently got a tour of the new State High under construction on Westerly Parkway.

When a portion of the new South Building opens in January, it will have all the amenities you’d expect in a new school — air conditioning, the latest technology, plenty of classroom, office, and gathering space.

But then there are the windows. Lots and lots of them, floor-to-ceiling in some places. Views from the upper floors will offer impressive vistas of State College and beyond.

While students and staff may find inspiration in great views and warm sunshine illuminating open spaces, the school will have to be about much more than that, and educators are confident it will be. 

As James Turchick reports, the new design is meant to foster an effective educational environment by, in effect, creating learning communities within a community.

Also this month, Sean Yoder takes you behind the scenes of all the work that goes into planning the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair. If your family doesn’t already have a tent at the fair and you’d like one, well, you’ll need to stick around a while.

Holly Riddle offers an update on a truly inspiring group of young adults and their mentors at Taproot Kitchen. If you haven’t had a chance to try one of their meals, you’re missing out. But you may have more opportunity moving forward.

Our cover in this month's magazine celebrates the green thumb of Barrie Moser — the “Tomato Man” — of Moser’s Garden Produce. Moser and his wife, Mandy, grow some renowned heirloom vegetables on their farm in Centre Hall. It’s a labor of love, and you can read about it in Vilma Shu Danz’s Taste of the Month feature.




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