Governor Morehead School to gain new outdoor learning center designed by NC State Students

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Visually impaired students at the Governor Morehead School will receive a new accessible outdoor learning center that architecture students at North Carolina State University helped design.

"As all of us that can see, we have opportunities on every playground to learn how to grow, how to develop our mobility. And so, giving them the same opportunity because every child has the right to play," said Drew Dunphy, co-director of NC State's chapter of Freedom by Design, an architecture community service program.

The new outdoor learning center will showcase a sensory wall, bench swing, chimes and other accessible equipment engaging with the non-visual senses.

'We were really focusing on having a space for students not to be overwhelmed and having more of an inviting area for them to like reside in," said Erin Craven, sensory wall project manager for the initiative. "I think that's important because it improves student life, and it gets them more outside and being comfortable around more active areas while also feeling more safe and secluded."

Most of the equipment will be made by NC State students partnering with architect Andy Osterlund and construction manager Logan McClure.

The center will replace an existing playground without features tailored for the visually impaired.

The project additionally gives the involved NC State students an opportunity to gain real-world design experience while learning from representatives of the Governor Morehead School and members of the visually impaired community.

"I think diversity inclusivity is a big part of designing. And so I think that's really awesome. And it's been keeping me very involved in this project and I'm excited to see where it goes," said Brooklyn Scotto, co-director of the NC State chapter of Freedom by design.

According to the principal of the Governor Morehead School Matthew Mescall, this partnership between the two schools helps demonstrate care.

"We challenge our students to be global citizens and to be involved in NC State and, and various partners," Mescall said. "It shows that we are part of the community and that they care and we care. And so, it's all just bringing that community together to make something happen for our students, and then for the next generation too."

The team continues to make efforts to fundraise to fully complete the project and remains in need of more donations.
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