McIntosh rebuilds special needs courtyard

McIntosh STEM students, with the help of key school and community partners, overhauled a courtyard for special needs students, adding in recreational and enrichment amenities.

A renovated courtyard is ramping up recreational and enrichment opportunities for special needs students at McIntosh High. The complete overhaul was a labor of love led by McIntosh STEM students, along with the help of several key school and community partners.

The courtyard project started 3 years ago with a request for a simple wheelchair accessible raised garden bed. Led by now-senior Jayden Kapri, STEM students designed an ADA-compliant planting bed for a science fair project, but that was just the beginning. The revamped recreational area now includes a number of new features like a turf putting green, garden beds, shade, seating, and a number of playground games.

“It quickly grew into this amazing project once STEM student Samantha Kornegay introduced us to Caitlin Heisey, and the Young Leadership Program for the Associated General Contractors of Georgia decided to help out the deserving special needs students and help make this a place to really enjoy when they come to school,” said McIntosh STEM coordinator Seth Bishop.

Student volunteers from the STEM program and McIntosh Aeronautics team finished it up with additional efforts and donations from Fayetteville Lowe’s, the MHS athletics department, and Gibson Landscaping.

“I hope all students can see what a difference one person can make and how much we can accomplish by working together,” said Bishop. “Both the STEM students and the special needs students worked together to complete the task. From building the picnic tables to painting fun designs on the ground, everyone did something.”

Among many people that helped with the project, Bishop sent out particular thanks to Caitlin Heisey and the Young Leadership Program for the AGC of Georgia.

“Their efforts and generosity made this project happen.”