Staff photo by Cole Dittmer
A Wrightsille Beach School PTA initiative to improve the look and utility of the school’s amenities will include the new track, volleyball court and two new fish tanks.
Wrightsville Beach School projects initiated by the PTA continue to improve the look and utility of the elementary school.
The additions range from coastal landscaping in front of the building and newly donated furniture in the lobby to a new track and a pier project featuring a live fish tank.
The quarter-mile crushed cement track, located behind the main facility and used by students daily, was laid in August but remains a work in progress as it continues to be rolled every couple of months to harden the surface.
PTA President Melissa Ellison said the hope is for the crushed cement to serve as the base for a future paved rubber track.
She said she plans to look for grants during the 2014-15 school year to help cover the costs.
“We are limited to what we can put out here because of CAMA and FEMA,” said Ellison, who also coaches Girls on the Run. “Our track was in really rough shape over the summer. ... This is probably our biggest issue at Wrightsville Beach [School], trying to get a track that’s like some of the newer tracks.”
The track was moved further away from the marsh, but the outside space, which also includes swing sets, a shelter and a playground, is drenched by high tide a couple times each year.
Also behind the school, the swing sets were moved during the holiday break to allow room for a regulation volleyball court, with a completion date scheduled for April.
“Now everything is more in a closed area as far as moving back and forth,” Ellison said.
Near the marsh on the left side of the school is where the ongoing pier project is underway. Film Works of Wilmington is donating digging and electrical work to bring power to the pier for the live fish tank, allowing students to catch and release creatures found nearby.
Inside the school is a blue saltwater fish tank with creatures from the movie “Finding Nemo,” proving to be a hit with the students.
“The kids absolutely love it,” Ellison said.
The landscape plan is complete. Parents can now see three palm trees and plants that replaced overgrown bushes in the front of the school.
“It just changes the whole feel of the school,” Ellison said. “… Now it feels warmer.”
Recent donations from parents include three kayaks, bringing the total to 17, and four chairs, a bench and a small table in the main school lobby.
A patio with two picnic tables between the school and the arts mobile unit is scheduled as the last item on the list. Ellison said the patio could be used for one-on-one interaction with students, for good behavior or for parents to eat lunch with students outside.