Cool Schools: Piney Woods School

Cool Schools

For 110 years Piney Woods School has been educating African American students with lessons that go far beyond your typical textbook.

Now they are making an old lesson 21st century.

For the first time in over a decade, the Piney Woods School is getting a new building.

Like many other facets of daily life on the boarding school’s campus, such as farming and maintenance, students have been hands on.

“Many of the buildings you see on campus were actually constructed by students. Students made the brick and constructed the building,” the school’s president, Will Crossley said.

However in 2019, brick laying isn’t a skill many use after graduation.

“So we wanted to figure out the 21st century version of that. And we thought why not help them design the buildings from the start,” Crossley said.

What is now an empty lot will soon become three new faculty houses.

Since the ribbon cutting in August, the students have been meeting with architects to help plan the construction.

“It was my job to see how much rain water the roof could collect in the gutters. So we can reuse it for plumbing and gardening purpose. Because we do have a farm on this campus,” Slywenda Geeston said.

“I’ve been researching about human comfort. So [that’s] trying to figure out if we want the houses to be warmer or cooler… if we want the ceilings to be higher or lower,” Christian Crossley said.

Both Geeston and Crossley are in the architecture club. They helped sample the soil to determine if it was sturdy enough for the construction project.

If the weather cooperates, the school hopes to have the new faculty housing complete by the end of May.


If you know of a school doing something cool, nominate them for our weekly “Cool Schools” segment. Just send an email with your idea to

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories