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Student Commons/Lobby
Student Commons/Lobby
Brian Field
Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The student commons/lobby will triple the size of our existing lobby and it will include a secure entrance to our school, as well as a mutually shared space for student lunch, athletic/ performing arts center events, and intermissions.  The lobby will include a new set of restrooms and concessions as well.  The student commons/lobby will house our Watchdog Hall of Fame display, a Historical Timeline of our District and Community, a Special Tribute to our Veterans and First Responders, and a display area for our Student Artwork.

Our District is very excited to share this area with our community and to recognize our Watchdog Hall of Fame inductees in our four pillars of Academics/Achievement, Fine Arts, Athletics, and Distinguished Service.  We are very proud to display the rich history of our school district and community and pay a special recognition to our veterans and first responders.  We also look forward to sharing the beautiful artwork created by our K-12 artists.  This area will be a centerpiece for our school district and community and we are very excited to share it with all stakeholders.

Mrs. Julie Saugstad is the K-12 Art Teacher for the Beresford School District and she shared the following message at the May 12 Watchdog Legacy Project Community Presentation.

“Art changes spaces.  As the art teacher, that’s my passion and I’m looking for spaces to share the creations of our students.  There are many opportunities for that in our new Watchdog Legacy Project, specifically in our Commons area where you walk into. 

If we take a walk through our town and visualize thoughtfully designed spaces that we already have, think about the:  Rock Wall, lighted sidewalk path through our park, Veterans Memorial, Runners Point, downtown farm mural and murals that are at the library and the Bridges which we are in now.  These are all thoughtfully designed spaces that we treasure, celebrate and remember.  This is what we want for our children when they come into the Commons area in our community. 

Currently, our children in grades 6-12, eat in a very functional gym known as the multi-purpose room.  Before they arrive, this room is full of physical activity, then P.E. comes to a halt.  Tables fold down, carts roll out—there’s lunch.  Next, tables fold up, carts roll away, the room is swept and mopped and balls begin to bounce as P.E. resumes.  It is functional.  It is a sterile environment. 

Two and a half weeks ago, we celebrated our artists and musicians in our K-12 Fine Arts Extravaganza.  This annual event takes place in the main gym lobby and the multi-purpose room.  It’s rather tricky to display the exhibit ahead of time due to safety for the art.  On Tuesday evening, which was two days ahead of this exhibit, 5th grade helpers and I found ourselves dodging softballs.  At least 40 youths in the multipurpose room were at softball practice tossing softballs back and forth.  So, we decided to postpone the hanging of the exhibit a couple hours for our safety.  Our spaces are in constant and overlapping use.  The exhibit in the multipurpose room that was put up was there for one complete day, then taken down and removed for safety of the art.  The lobby exhibit was around for three days, then taken down for the same reason:  safety and use of space.  During the time of the exhibit, our eating space was transformed from sterile, to enjoyment.  Not that school lunch isn’t usually yummy, but the art changed the atmosphere that our students enjoyed.  We celebrated our creations.  Instead of keeping art hidden away in hallways, we would like to celebrate them and have them seen more often to enjoy the creations throughout the year.  The new Commons area would allow this.  Art would be in a safe environment as students would be eating lunch around the area and not bouncing balls with physical activity. 

If art is the music of our hearts, we need to transform our children’s lunch space from sterile to inspirational.”