Tulsa Icons Back New Tulsa School Ropes Course
Tuesday, May 9th 2006, 9:18 AM CDT
Two of Tulsa's biggest philanthropists are joining forces to revitalize a forgotten piece of Tulsa Public Schools.
Lowell Middle School at 1006 North Quaker has sat empty for years. The building is gone and in its place, a plan to challenge students to take their education to a new level.
News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson says Lowell was bulldozed and already the foundation is being laid for a one-of-a-kind rope course.
Walt Helmerich and Henry Zarrow each donated more than a million dollars for the HelmZar Challenge Course. It's a combination indoor-outdoor course that can be used year round to help students learn lessons in team building and self-confidence.
The men say the course is a tribute to Superintendent Dr David Sawyer's six years of service to the district. Walt Helmerich: "We think he's done an unbelievably good job with the city. So when he came to us and said, 'I hoped to get this done before I left but we just don't have the money,' Henry and I got together and decided to help."
Challenge course trainer Jessica Blackburn: "I'm excited about the whole thing, because I haven't been on a ropes course this big because we don't have one yet. So it's going to be a whole lot of fun."
The district's goal is to use the course to help every 6th grader make the adjustment from elementary to middle school.
The new course is slated to open in January 2007.