Dear friends and backers,
We have so much to report from our classroom construction site! Our Studio H student crew at REALM Charter School is making huge progress on the construction of our shipping container space for use by the whole school community. A few highlights:
-- In order to integrate a more social, open-plan space, we rotated one shipping container 90 degrees (see video below) to create an open-air courtyard adjacent to the more enclosed classroom area. This courtyard will be a great place for barbecues, outdoor film screenings, lunchtime dining, and other gatherings. To add to the outdoor space, students Mia, Sana, and Sean have been torch-cutting and welding scrap pieces of container steel to build planter boxes and a chicken coop.
-- On the long side of this rotated container, we have added the school's name in large white lettering. This side faces University Avenue, a main thoroughfare into Berkeley. Our containers now also double as a billboard for the school!
-- Lupe and Beto have been hard at work custom-fitting the floor joists between the left and center containers, on top of which we will lay the deck boards. We have also been contemplating an extension of the interior classroom decking out towards the front of the building, to create a front porch.
-- We have also removed all the long walls of the classroom space, to create a completely open visual line from the main school building and office through to the courtyard space. Opening up the sides of all the containers makes the space easier to monitor by school safety officers, as well as better ventilated and more inviting. The exterior walls will have transparent glazing to maintain visibility throughout the space.
We are also working as a team to compile all of your backer rewards, from our construction site scrap "paperweights" to the laser-etched Studio H sketchbooks. Keep an eye out for a survey from us in which you can provide mailing information to receive your reward. We hope to begin shipping your rewards in the next few weeks.
Thank you for continuing to follow our progress. We will keep you posted as we lay the deck and raise the roof in the coming months!
Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller (instructors), and the whole crew of Studio H students at REALM Charter School