The Lamplighter School held a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 17 to officially open its new barn. School faculty, staff, trustees, and 450 students gathered around the new building to welcome a flock of baby chicks to their new home.
“Lamplighter’s ‘ubiquitous barn’ has been a source of learning and joy for more than sixty years,” former teacher Sheila McCartor said. “Despite the varied forms in different locations, it has always been a center of education, excitement, and great enthusiasm.”
The original barn on Lamplighter’s Inwood Road campus was dismantled last spring to be replaced. The new structure provides a better home for the 47-year-old Lamplighter Layers program, the School’s signature entrepreneurial chicken-raising and egg-selling corporate managed by fourth grade seniors.
“Layers and the barn provide the most unique and amazing opportunity for children to work together, learn about nature, and be responsible for the care of creatures that are dependent on them,” fourth grade teacher Kathey Beddow said.
The new barn is the first of two new buildings designed by award-winning architect Marlon Blackwell of Fayetteville, Arkansas. The school plans to open a nearby innovation lab, which will feature a teaching kitchen, an environmental science classroom, a robotics lab, and woodworking classroom, in the fall.
The ribbon cutting ceremony began with Head of School Dr. Joan Hill welcoming students and highlighting some of the barn’s long-standing traditions. Third grade students later delivered the baby chicks to their new home. Despite their new fancy digs, Hill noted that some things would likely remain the same.
“No matter if it is 1969 or 2017, the students will still feed Cheerios to the chicks,” she said.