Backhoes down, shovels up

Capital construction halts to allow first-graders to continue tradition

When work began on Phase 1 of Broadalbin-Perth’s $39.7 million capital project, first-grade teacher Cindy Hartney had one question: Would her class be able to take its yearly trip into the woods behind The Learning Community? On the morning of Thursday, June 1, construction stopped so that Hartney and her class could take that trip into the woods to carry on a tradition that is now in its seventh year.

The students’ mission: Bury a time capsule filled with individual and class mementos, student artwork and writing, and letters from their teachers. Hartney’s hope is that the students will return to the site of the buried time capsule 11 years from now when they are preparing to graduate from Broadalbin-Perth High School.

Hartney, her students and parent volunteers were accompanied to the capsule’s burial site by Nolan Smith, construction site representative for CSArch, the district’s architecture firm. Smith helped the children and adults navigate a muddy construction field and clamber through wooded areas to reach the existing nature trail.

“They definitely made some memories today,” Hartney said about the students’ unusual trek to the time capsule burial location. “They’ll be talking about this for years to come.”

The outdoor classroom, which is near where Hartney’s classes have buried their time capsules, is not being affected by the capital project. Hartney plans to continue this annual tradition with her classes in future years, unobstructed by construction work.