WAXHAW – Marvin Ridge High School will officially welcome a new addition to its campus this week that PTSO members hope will increase school pride.
Katherine Billingham, a mother of twin juniors at Marvin Ridge and the PTSO’s Buildings and Grounds Beautification Committee co-chair for the past six years, has worked on renovating the school’s roundabout for the past five years.
The roundabout, which has an 86-foot diameter, is typically the first thing people see on Marvin Ridge’s campus, Billingham said. There’s heavy traffic around it and Billingham wanted to make sure the space was not neglected.
“It just needed something really to convey the spirit, of the school, the student body and the staff,” she said. “We wanted to convey what Marvin Ridge is all about.”
The renovations include a large metal globe installed in the center of the roundabout, along with weeding and landscaping.
The globe was created by a local artist, Bob Doster, with design help from Marvin Ridge art students.
“It is very much a part of our mission to prepare students for the connected global society that we live it,” said Marvin Ridge High School Principal Donna Cook. “We want to develop a strong intercultural understanding.”
Cook believes the globe stands as a visual representation and reminder of the school’s mission, as well as the 50 to 60 countries of birth of parents and students at Marvin Ridge.
The globe has been put in with a round, concrete base with a brick casting, and more landscaping needs will come in October.
Billingham said the committee began working on the project “with vigor” since September of last year and began actively pursing funds then.
A large donation from a corporate sponsor, as well as help from the middle and high schools’ PTSOs, helped the globe and renovation come to life, Billingham said.
The committee has since received favorable comments from staff and parents about the globe and has seen people drive around it multiple times, or stop to take pictures.
“It’s my desire to enhance as students, teachers and administration walk into the school that the first thing they see makes them smile,” she said. “They end and start their day with beauty. Even if they don’t consciously notice, it still makes a difference.”
Billingham has been a part of multiple projects regarding the school’s beautification, including a campus cleanup before school starts, installing garden beds around the school and planting seasonal plants, among others.
The Marvin Ridge PTSO will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for the roundabout on Friday, Sept. 18, at 4:30 p.m. at the school.