Perhaps the most unique aspects of Leesville’s campus lie enclosed within the main building, two natural escapes from the rows of monotonous classrooms that surround them.
The courtyards of Leesville were clearly designed as more than mere green space for windows to overlook; cement paths wind through miniature forests to benches, picnic tables and other rest spots.
But just as the aesthetics of the courtyards have declined — due to years of plant growth, weeds, storms and lack of maintenance — so have the educational and social uses of them. Only one of the two courtyards is currently unlocked during the day, and even that one is sparsely used during lunchtime and empty at other times.
Most of The Mycenaean Editorial Board members had never entered the courtyard until a trip earlier this school year; upon entering, however, we were struck by the unique feel of a plant-filled environment within the cement block- and metal desk-laden confines of Leesville. The warmth of the real sun, the peppermint-esque chill of winter morning air on skin, the absolute silence of the courtyard proves to be a surprisingly refreshing change from our usual school “habitat.”
For those who have never undertaken the “adventure” and ventured in, we implore you to do soon and see what it’s like.
Leesville’s Executive Council and Environmental Club had jointly planned a courtyard clean-up day for much of the fall, but the wait for responses on grants written by Exec co-advisor Trey Ferguson has pushed the planning into the winter. By now, the notorious weeds which overrun the courtyard are dying anyway (to return with vigor in the spring), but wintry weather and frigid temperatures will likely make courtyard usage by the general student body even less frequent.
Once more pleasant weather returns, perhaps courtyard lunch usage will be in need of a (figurative) snowball effect.
Just as Leesville dance attendance struggles because the “cool people” don’t go and thus don’t attract a crowd of additional followers, Leesville courtyards are empty because — gasp! — people don’t go in them. The more underclassmen who choose to consume their mid-day nourishment outdoors, the more friends follow them and exponentially increase courtyard usage.
Clearly, more regular maintenance, landscaping and sweeping is needed to make the courtyards as appealing as they could be; that burden must fall on the school’s faculty and custodial staff. Nonetheless, The Mycenaean urges the student body to expand their borders (literally this time) and experience what it’s like to be outside, inside.