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Mar 27, 2012 11:24 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Donors Sought For Westhampton Beach High School Beautification Project

Mar 27, 2012 4:03 PM

It is beginning to look a lot like spring on the Westhampton Beach High School campus, where high school English teacher Glenn Dorskind and parent Bobette Suter have been working since early February to beautify the grounds near the back entrance of the building.

Earlier this month, Mr. Dorskind, a Hurricane Educational Foundation trustee, updated the Board of Education on the progress of the high school beautification project that he and Ms. Suter, the parent of a high school senior, have been working on. Benches are now being added to the lawn and, because they are the only element of the project that is not being donated, Mr. Dorskind and Ms. Suter are looking for sponsors.

It costs $500 to sponsor a bench and, in return, donors will get their names inscribed on a plaque that will be featured either on or near the 12 benches. Mr. Dorskind is also considering installing a plaque inside the high school that acknowledges all of the donors.

As of this week, Mr. Dorskind said he has found sponsors for seven of the 12 benches. Members of the Class of 1976, led by former Board of Education President Aram Terchunian, purchased the first bench.

Mr. Dorskind said he recently ordered 11 8-foot-long benches and one 6-foot-long bench, as approved by the School Board. After their arrival, which is expected to be in about a month, the benches will be installed on top of dark gray concrete pavers and surrounded by crushed blue stones. Cherry trees will be planted between the benches.

“The progress of the installation has been steady and everyone can see the installation is already beautiful and practical as well,” Mr. Dorskind said while recently addressing the School Board.

He envisions that the benches will provide a place for students to sit and eat their lunch or read during the school day. Thus far, 16 local contractors have donated an estimated $40,000 in time and materials toward the project. Ms. Suter, who operates the Quogue-based architecture, landscape and design firm Suter & Suter with her husband, Rick, spent many hours creating plans and managing the installation.

“She’s an amazing woman,” Mr. Dorskind said of Ms. Suter. “I’ve done a lot of fundraising projects and she’s probably the best partner I’ve ever had.”

A total of 15 trees—10 Chinese cherries, two American hornbeams, two locusts and one green beech—and nine yew bushes have been planted so far. An underground irrigation system has been installed and grass seed will be planted next month. Spotlights will illuminate the two American hornbeams. Next month, teachers are planning to add three cypress trees to the arrangement.

Mr. Dorskind said he started the project because he was not happy with the appearance of the property behind the high school.

“Westhampton Beach High School has the best teachers, the best administrators, the best staff and, most importantly, the best students,” he said, “but we had a lousy back entrance. We needed something that represented us.”

Those interested in sponsoring a bench are asked to email Mr. Dorskind at dorskindg@whbschools.org or call Westhampton Beach High School at 288-3800 and leave a message for him.

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