When I inherited Room 17 in June of 2011, it looked similar to many typical classrooms built in the 1950’s across America. It was fortunate that the designers had the wisdom to include a bank of large beautiful windows. The room held four tables each with six metal open-faced drawers screwed on the undersides. There were a smattering of mismatched single and double desks, two round tables, five file cabinets, a variety of metal chairs, and more plastic tubs than one could easily count. Bookcases and shelving units blocked the lower portions of most windows.
The first order of business was to remove everything from the room and take inventory as to what was essential. Once that happened, the classroom seemed to expand exponentially. A spot in the corner opened up, and I asked my husband Craig (an industrial commercial photographer by trade, with a serious streak of handyman) to construct a sturdy two-level bench for students to sit on. Hence, the Reading Bleachers. Using a piece of wooden trim for reference, Miller Paint matched the color of the stain. The result is a structure that looks like an original built-in.