New Walkway Promises To Keep Students Dry


The new walkway at the pickup line is this year’s senior gift, as it will both honor the graduating class and protect students from any adverse weather.

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Benjamin Upper School presented this year’s graduating class with a Senior gift: a new awning that covers the walkway from the bell tower to the pickup circle. 

Dean of Students Mr. Kevin Jacobsen oversaw the construction of the new awning. He believes that it will serve a much needed purpose here at the Upper School.

“It became fairly obvious to me early on in my time here, and Mr. Carr as well, that whenever there is adverse weather and we have either pickup or dropoff, it creates a major issue. Especially when there is lightning,” said Mr. Jacobsen.

“First and foremost, it (the awning) helps to get rid of a safety concern. Secondly, it’s a great senior class gift, so it kind of works in both ways,” added Mr. Jacobsen.

When thinking about the awning as a senior gift, Mr. Jacobsen believes that it will end up helping the whole school in addition to honoring the class of 2022.

“As someone who runs the traffic operation at the school, I think it’s really important that we have it (the awning). I think that any senior gift that adds to the functionality of the campus is a really good senior gift,” said Mr. Jacobsen

In regards to Florida’s yearly risk of hurricanes, the new awning should be able to withstand the harsh conditions fairly well. With the covering being made of cloth, though, there is still the outside chance that a major storm could damage it.

The idea of building the new awning and incorporating it as a senior gift has been in the works since last Spring. Originally, the hope was to have it done by the time the seniors graduated, which ended up becoming a reality.

In a recent interview with BTV, Head of the Upper School Mr. Fletcher Carr reiterated that the awning was a much needed addition here on campus.

“In all of my years here so far, I’ve noticed that during some of the critical times of day and certain months of the year, we have needed covered walkways. We want to make sure that kids can safely get around during the rainy season and thunderstorms, and when we realized that one of the key thoroughfares of the school is left uncovered, we wanted to fix that issue pretty quickly,” said Mr. Carr.

Mr. Carr also mentions the significance of the new awning in regards to the senior class.

“It’s a wonderful gift from the senior class and their families. It’s one more indication of a growing campus, and as we grow, there are going to have to be pieces that change a little bit,” adds Mr. Carr.

Now, whenever the class of 2022 returns to campus, they can see the awning and be reminded of everything they have done for the school and the impact they had on the community as a whole.