While the New Albany-Plain Local School District is looking for more room to house its growing population, one student is doing his part to help.

While the New Albany-Plain Local School District is looking for more room to house its growing population, one student is doing his part to help.

As part of his Eagle Scout project, New Albany High School senior Stuart Sliwowski plans to build an amphitheater to be used as an outdoor classroom.

Sliwowski went before New Albany Village Council last week for permission to build the amphitheater in the village-owned meadows of Swickard Woods Park.

"It's just going to be... in the meadow preservation area right behind the football field," he told council.

Sliwowski has been working on the project for at least six months, and village community development director Jennifer Chrysler said he has spoken with several people in the building department to make sure the structure meets village standards.

"In the six months we've been working on this, I don't know how many times Stuart has brought paperwork to me, but I know it's been at least five times," said Gary Beckman, Sliwowski's Scoutmaster.

According to the proposal submitted to council, the amphitheater would "assist in the learning process because it would provide a comfortable way to learn outdoors. An amphitheater would provide seating for a class so that they could easily take notes and focus on the teacher.... The proposed amphitheater could also provide a meeting area for groups who visit the Swickard Woods Nature Preserve."

The amphitheater would include seating around a level stage area and would be funded via a grant from local environmentalist Bill Resch, who acts as coordinator at the nature preserve.

In addition to working with the village building department, Resch said, Sliwowski also has worked with nature organizations to make sure the amphitheater would not harm its surroundings.

"He checked with the national wetland inventory," he said.

Although the building of the benches would require such tools as saws and a backhoe, Resch said, Sliwowski would get help from Beckman, who also owns his own construction company.

"These programs always have a professional mentor to help them through this," Resch told council.

Council accepted the amphitheater plan with the village administrator's approval and applauded Sliwowski's work.

"It sounds like it's been very well-planned, and it will be a great amenity for the community," Mayor Nancy Ferguson said.

jnoblit@thisweeknews.com