NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The New Providence High School PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) unveiled the renovated interior courtyard on Back to School Night, Thursday, September 19th. Parents and staff were invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony, led by PTSA President Diane Pereira, Vice President Nikki Wichtendahl, Corresponding Secretary Joan Agresto, Treasurer Nadine Geoffroy and NPHS Principal Lauren Zirpoli.
Not pictured were Christine Flanagan, current Recording Secretary, and Donna Zane, former Treasurer.
The first phase of renovations was completed this summer and included resurfacing the existing patio, and adding two new patios, creating a handicap accessible pathway, updating the landscaping and installing a pergola donated by the Fraehmke family. Work was performed by Fitz’s Fish Ponds, LLC. The project was entirely funded by PTSA donations.
The green Trex bench in the courtyard was awarded based on school efforts to recycle plastic bags and wraps. This community-wide effort has kept over 2,000 pounds of plastics out of the landfills in less than 10 months. Students can drop plastics and wraps off at any of the district schools.
A second phase of updates is being planned and will continue to be focused on environmentally friendly initiatives, which may include additional landscaping, seating and solar powered charging stations. The PTSA added a Sustainability Committee last year which is working toward certification with Sustainable Jersey for Schools by increasing green and sustainable activities and practices. One future project idea is adding a rainwater capture project to the courtyard.
Lauren Zirpoli, Principal of New Providence High School, states "We are so excited in the combined efforts of the PTSA and school administration to redesign our high school courtyard! Our PTSA, along with our parent community have focused their efforts for several years in raising the funds to make this project possible. Our students are enjoying the beautiful space during our lunch and professional period as well as enjoying it as an instructional space to collaborate academically. The High School Courtyard is a continuation of creating “School Community Hubs” similar to our popular Media Center to create flexible learning environments for students to enjoy."