Volunteer Construction of Outdoor Classroom for Main Street Child Development Center

T3 engineers and family members volunteered their time and energy to construct an outdoor classroom for the Main Street Child Development Center in Fairfax, Virginia. T3 is committed to being a good citizen within the City of Fairfax by supporting local businesses and helping our neighbors.

The Main Street Child Development Center is a nonprofit organization located in the City of Fairfax that provides high-quality and comprehensive early childhood education to children regardless of their financial circumstances. The Center's Executive Director, Carol Lieske, had a vision for building an outdoor classroom, and since learning of it last summer, T3 has worked to help her bring her sketch to life.

T3 has been supporting this organization for over 10 years with financial contributions by both the company and individual staff members, participating in their annual Secret Santa program, and by volunteering to teach English to adults in an evening program. We are thrilled to continue our support by providing skills and labor to complete this building project. 

Our crew of volunteers included Cerasela Cristei who spearheaded and managed the effort, Ed Pineda, Francisco Cascante, Liang Hu (Liam) Tan, and Omran El Khatib. Omran's wife, Lindsey, also joined the effort, as did Liam's dad, Liming Tan. The Center had a fence constructed by City forces to surround the outdoor space chosen just outside the development center office building. This location allows easy access by children and allows them to enjoy nature while learning in a semi-formal, outdoor setting.

The T3 team employed their engineering and DIY skills during the planning and construction stages. They made suggestions to the concept sketch and prepared a simple construction plan. Cerasela used the plan to estimate quantities of the various materials, along with a cost estimate for the building materials. Once the Center purchased the materials, T3 picked them up, prepared the site, and spent two Saturdays using their hands, hearts, and hand tools to construct a triangular-shaped deck, a small paved patio, and a small play area with a grid of bricks laid out into a street grid and parking area for toy cars. Small logs were also installed at the appropriate height for child seating.  

The outdoor classroom will be used for multiple activities, with the deck serving as a performance stage or a game platform.  We hope that the children at Main Street Child Development Center will enjoy their outdoor activities and experiences, and perhaps someday, even pursue a career in transportation! T3 is thrilled to see the final product in action and is grateful for our opportunity to work with the Center to benefit local children.