GURNEE – A 10-foot-high by 31-foot-long rock climbing wall designed for students to challenge their fitness levels at the Intermediate School now includes a finished work of art depicting each of the district’s buildings and surrounding landscape.
The traverse climbing wall program for all ages and abilities began at the Intermediate School with a $1,000 Trustmark Impact Educator Grant being awarded in December 2015. In March 2017, traverse climbing walls were installed in both the Intermediate east gym and west gym.
Adaptive physical education teacher Susan Banks said the wall provides exciting opportunities for students, but she also had been hoping to include a mural to showcase the climbing wall. An idea was shared with her from her son, an artist himself.
“He had suggested a mural depicting a journey through Woodland. I just thought it would be more interesting than a plain wall,” she said.
Thanks to volunteer hours of painting and design provided by Woodland Middle School art teacher Kelly Eggleston, middle school art students and members of the National Junior Honor Society, students can climb and see each of Woodland’s five school buildings as well as small woodland creatures, playgrounds and athletic fields, school buses on a winding roadway, plus the transportation buildings and the Educational Support Center. In the corner is painted, “In honor of all artists.”
“The students enjoyed seeing the wall painting expand and change over the past eight months,” Banks said, adding that with the finished wall students can identify their current and former school buildings and have fun “I spying” the many familiar structures, trees, flowers and wildlife painted on the wall.