APES moves into Portables


Seniors Emily Popoca and Elizabeth Benitez exiting the AP Environmental Science portable after class. After the bond passed for $437 million towards RISD schools, APES has had the opportunity to update their space. In the mean time class is held in the portables.

Before environmental science teacher Tony Strohmeyer’s old classroom was torn down, he would step outside and be greeted by a green house with hydroponic gardens, a pond built by former students, and an outdoor growing space. Now, when he leaves his new portable classroom, he is greeted by concrete walls and the clamor of students rushing through the parking lot to their cars.

After the passage of the 2016 bond package, construction at Richardson has paved the way for a new environmental science classroom, but in the meantime, Strohmeyer and his students occupy a small portable in a far corner of the campus.

“My biggest challenge is how far away we are from everything – kids will get into class five or ten minutes late, which takes away from class time,” Strohmeyer said.

Going into next year, Strohmeyer has been given the chance to help with the design process for the new Living Materials Center(LMC).

“They allowed me to do whatever I want,” he said. They asked me where I want things, how big do I want them, and even asked where I wanted my outlets,” he said.

Seniors felt the impact the most since they would miss out on the amenities and benefits the old LMC provided.

“It’s a bummer that we don’t get to use it [the LMC] anymore, I was really looking forward to it for APES,” senior Daquan Allen said.

During this transition period during the LMC updates, Strohmeyer said his situtation could always be worse.

“I’d rather have this portable then having to go room to room moving all of my equipment. It’s definitely worth going through what we are going through to get what I’m about to get,” Strohmeyer said.

Even with the portables, students say APES classes have the necessities to accomplish their goals.

“We are isolated from the rest of the school, but I still feel that the portable classroom gives us a great environment to learn,” senior Seth Sugerman said. Although we don’t have the facilities from last year, we still get the job done.”