I’ve been doing some research on the playground. I guess it was only partially built. The Principal mentioned how she wished it was finished on the first day I was here, and the Local Advisory School Board also brought it up. Maybe this is something we can get done with a little community/school collaboration.
I found a pile of school plans that were really interesting to look through. They are from 2006 and are for the current school. The documents are huge, so here are two snippets that are hard to really see.
This first picture is in front of the school. It shows plans for a soccer field, a baseball field, and a lighted hockey rink/basketball court. Note the “Accepted not built”. That means that the materials were bought, but nothing was built (except for the baseball backstop – I took a picture of that in an earlier post).
And here’s another thing for the back of the school – a sand volleyball court:
And, OK, maybe if the sand volleyball court had been built, it would take off, and the tiny village of Tuluksak would be producing some of the finest beach volleyball players in Alaska. As at ease on the the ice rink as they are on the soccer field. I asked a few of my new young friends who gathered around me as I was poring over the maps what they thought of having soccer, baseball, hockey, and outdoor volleyball fields, courts, and rinks, and they shook their heads.
So much money spent, with so little consideration to: Does anybody want this? or, What will we do when we’ve built it? I could give you more illustrations and stories of this throughout the school. It makes me puzzle over if there is some sort of series of questions that should be asked – of those pushing the stuff, of those purchasing it, and of those left to deal with it – that get to the heart of creating and maintaining sustainable rural community. Will it last? Can it be made from things from here? By people from here? This is something still forming, but I think there’s something there.