The Courtyard at Deer Run
The Deer Run School Courtyard is located between the old and new wings at Deer Run School. It is a quiet space for all, dedicated to the memory of Philip Madonna, who was principal of Deer Run School from 1985-1997, and Nicole Cifarelli who was a student at Deer Run from 1993-1996.
The gardens and gazebo began as an idea that Mr. Madonna had to remember Nicole, who died in the fall of the 1996-1997 school year when she was just beginning fourth grade. When Mr. Madonna was stricken with a heart attack and died at school in the spring of that same school year, the teachers decided to continue with his dream. With a great deal of hard work and generosity, Mr. Madonna's dream was realized and the Deer Run Courtyard was dedicated in September of 1997.
Designed by Van Nursery, each of the four gardens in the courtyard contains plantings that carry out a theme. They are the Connecticut gardens, the Seashore Garden, the Bird Garden, and the Butterfly Garden.
History of Deer Run School
On Sunday, June 12th, 1955 two hundred fifty people attended the Deer Run School dedication ceremony. Those in attendance included Superintendent of Schools, R. Vernon Hays, First Selectmen, Mr Frank Clancy, and Chairman of the Board of Education, Francis Walsh.
Architects Schilling & Goldbecker designed the elementary school which was developed on the site of twenty-two acres. The original structure, built in 1954, consisted of eleven classrooms and cost a total of $406,538 to construct. In today's dollars that is equivalent of $2.8 million. The Building Committee included chairman, Mr. George T. Letis, Mr. James Cunningham, Mr. Alfred F. Holcomb, Mrs. Walter Link, Mr. Ray C. Lurie, and Mr. Frank V. Savino. The Contractor was P. Francini & Company.
In 1959 architects Schilling & Goldbecker planned the addition of fifteen rooms, which were added to the original structure for the cost of $332,000. Today, This improvement would cost over $2.1 million.
Deer Run School has had a number of different grade-level configurations in it's history. The most recent reconfiguration occurred at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, when Deer Run School opened it's doors to serve students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 2.