By Joe Earle
joeearle@reporternewspapers.net

The way John Damiano sees it, North Springs Charter High School should make its outside match the quality of the school on the inside.

“A lot of people drive by and say, ‘This is not such a great school,’ but when you look at the things going on inside, you’re really impressed,” he said.

So Damiano is co-chairing fundraising efforts to transform the outside of North Springs. “What we’re trying to do is make the outside, along with the inside, a better environment for students to learn in,” he said.

To do that, the school this month is starting a 10-year campaign to revitalize its campus. The Vision 20/20 campaign being put together by the Friends of North Springs, a nonprofit foundation, also will provide money for key educational needs, the school said in a press release.

“We have a 10-year vision,” Damiano said. “We’re looking to raise $2 to $3 million in 10 years.”

The first phase of the program will require about $60,000 to be raised over the next year, he said.

Part of the plan will make North Springs “greener.” Literally, to hear Damiano tell it. A part of the new design, he said, includes plans to install trellises on the school’s brick walls and to grow vines on them.

The plan also calls for improving fencing along Spalding and Dalrymple drives, adding site sculptures designed by students, adding banners to the light posts, planting gardens and installing new signs to help students and visitors find their way around the school, Damiano said.

Long-range plans include an enlarged front entrance for the school building and entrance plaza; redesigned and repaved parking lots; new baseball and softball press boxes, bathrooms; new stadium ticket booth and concession area; and a new field house.

“This is an incredibly exciting project for our school,” North Springs Principal Lisa Stueve said in a press release. “Vision 20/20 is going to make sure that we have the kind of learning environment where students and teachers can thrive.”

The Friends of North Springs wills solicit contributions for the campaign from parents, alumni, local businesses and foundations, the school said.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.