Students at Ardmore Middle School will have a place to hang out outside during lunch soon.
Parent Teacher Team member Tania Delgado began raising money to build a 20 by 30 foot shaded pavilion on the school grounds last fall. Since then, she’s raised about $9700 of their $12,000 goal.
“When I was a kid, one of the things my mom taught me was that it never hurts to ask,” Delgado said. “So you just start asking around and seeing what’s possible.”
After lunch, kids are free to go outside and play or hang out. The school’s yard has a small playground, some benches and tetherball poles, but not much room to sit or get out of the sun. Delgado hopes the pavilion will also provide a space for outdoor events and the occasional outdoor lesson when the weather is nice.
“Of course, at that age, they probably don’t want it to be called ‘recess,’ but it’s one of the few times they can actually sit outside and connect with their peers,” Delgado said.
She said she’s never done any fundraising before, but jumped in after her daughter Hannah, an 8th grader at AMS, mentioned the issue to her.
“I’m a mom, I have all these other responsibilities, and you start to feel like ‘Oh, I don’t know…’ But inevitably, something would happen that would encourage me.,” Delgado said. “One day I mentioned to my daughter that I didn’t know if it was going to work out and she said “but you’re going to try, aren’t you?’”
She wanted to avoid fundraisers that would require kids to sell things, so she brainstormed and reached out to local businesses and groups to get the word out.
“It was a learning process,” Delgado said. “Some people will simply say, ‘I’m sorry, we can’t,’ and you just go on. Sometimes they leave you hanging a little and you have to decide what to do.”
 Ten Star Pizza Kitchen owner Ryan Matlack pitched in with a donation, then began helping Delgado fundraise. So far, Ardmore Rotary Club, M&M Land Surveying, Mike and Betty Jane Cawley, Glen and Dana Burns, Erica Gay, Huggins Enterprises, Ten Star Pizza, First National Bank and a few other donors who wished to stay anonymous have donated.
Delgado said she worked with ACS director of operations Chris Kennedy to pick a design and location.
“Initially we looked at pre-fabricated carports because they were a little less expensive, but there’s some concerns with the longevity of those,” Delgado said.
In the end, they went with a concrete and metal structure far enough from the school to accommodate any extensions or portable classrooms the school might need in the future.
“I have a six-year-old daughter too, and when she’s in middle school, she’ll be sitting under the same pavilion. It might be a little dented up and have some marks, but it should still be there.”