Renovations to Pimlico Elementary/Middle School won’t begin until next school year, but that didn’t stop a group of sixth graders lending a helping hand in the re- design of their new 21st century educational house.

On Oct. 9, 25 preteens gathered in the library of the school on Pimlico Road for a nearly two-hour design session to map out ways to improve their school.

“Having the children assist with designing what they would want their school to look like helps them with teamwork and teambuilding skills,” Language Arts teacher Kenyetta Scipio, told the AFRO.

She said the project helped them share ideas, while respecting the ideas of others. The students made suggestions on how and where they would like their cafeteria, gymnasium, classroom size and location of classrooms, library, resource centers and activity space.

Under the Baltimore City Public School 21st Century building plan, Pimlico was selected as one of the schools to be slated for renovations and replacements.

HCM Architects—the designers of the new school—were on hand to help and offer suggestions for students because they will be the final judges in selecting onc out of three designs fostered by the student’s visions.

“We are looking for the kids to help us plan the new school,” said Pete Winebrenner of HCM Architects. “They tend to come up with some pretty amazing ideas.”

Winebrenner and his team assisted students with an activity using colored blocks to create their design based on educational specifications—as suggested for all the 21st century buildings.

He told the students that they were here to “help them improve their school.”

Destiny Gantt, a Pimlico sixth grader, told the AFRO she “wants a school that is more comfortable,” and with “nicer chairs.”

The mind-opening experience brought a team of students together on a project that will impact all of them, according to Scipio.

Elneeta Jones, school principal, said “getting their input is important.”

She said space is a huge component to a 21st century school. “Their performances and social interactions will be improved with a new spacious building.”


Blair Adams

AFRO Staff Writer