Stroman Middle School
- Category: Education
- Sponsor: Marie Lester, Environmental Services Department, City of Victoria
- Project Lead: Holly McCutcheon, Stroman Middle School
- System Location: 3002 E. North Street, Victoria, TX 77901
- Capacity: 220 gallons
- Water Use: Non-potable (irrigation)
Background and System:
Stroman Middle School has the distinction of being the only school in the region with a rainwater harvesting system. When it opened in 2010 as an advanced learning center for middle school students, the campus was overrun with weeds and garbage. Under the leadership of Ms. Holly McCutcheon, 8th graders at the school accepted the challenge of overhauling the campus. They called the project BEAST: Beautifying, Educating and Achieving Success Together and the plan they came up with was to beautify the campus with a Xeriscaped™ garden that would be irrigated with harvested rainwater.
With help from the City of Victoria Environmental Services Department, the community, and local organizations including the Victoria County Groundwater Conservation District, the 14 BEAST students started work on the project by first educating themselves about water resource management and learning gardening techniques. Working after school and on weekends, they prepared the garden and built the rainwater harvesting system. They were involved in every stage of building the system; from mixing the concrete to setting the posts and installing the 10' by 10' corrugated metal roof. The four barrels placed under the roof collect enough water to irrigate the surrounding garden.
In addition to building the system, the students have prepared a rainwater coloring book that they use in conjunction with the rainwater harvesting system to teach elementary school students about water management. The rainwater harvesting system has generated much interest in the community and two other schools in the area are planning to install one at their own schools this year.