The courtyard underwent a complete physical transformation over the summer, which included the installation of a new stone pathway, fresh sod and vegetation. Old Trail students will learn and read about many of the flowers and plants growing in the courtyard during the school year.
The renovation was made possible through a lead gift from Katie and Rob Kagler, in honor of Katie’s mother, Marcia (“Marnie”) Sinclair Carabell ‘57. A supporting gift for the project came from the OTS Parents’ Association.
Mrs. Carabell, who was born in Akron but spent most of her life in Hudson, was a high school graduate of Old Trail during a time when the school included an all-girls secondary division. She went on to become an entrepreneur and a successful business owner. She was also an advocate and supporter of Old Trail School.
“We enrolled our son, George, who is now a junior at Western Reserve Academy, at Old Trail in the first grade because of my mother’s love for the school and how impressed we were with OTS when we visited,” Katie Kagler said. “Old Trail provided George a great education, it challenged him academically, and it prepared him well for the transition to high school.”
This family connection and shared appreciation for the school were the inspiration for the project.
“George loves Old Trail and adored my mother, who was also an avid gardener,” Kagler said. “I wanted to do something to honor their connection, our love for the school, and my mother’s passion for gardening. The library courtyard project seemed like the perfect way to honor her.”
The design of the renovated courtyard mirrors the updates completed over the summer of the Meyo Library. The refurbished interior includes a fresh coat of paint, a new ceiling, a modified circulation desk to allow younger students to engage with librarians, and new nature-themed furniture.
“The renovated spaces reflect the natural world and our school’s place in the Cuyahoga Valley,” said Old Trail Associate Head of School Joe Vogel. “They speak to who we are, where we are, and the important role the library plays in the lives of all students – a place of knowledge, information, and inspiration. The library and the new Marnie Carabell Library Courtyard are now two beautiful spaces that complement each other.”
The OTS Parents’ Association also played a significant role in the renovation of the Meyo library. Their support, along with the support of Vicki and Dan Marty, enabled the school to provide a welcoming space that serves the needs of our youngest students, our oldest students, and all those in between.
The Old Trail community is invited to tour both of these renovated spaces in-person during the dedication ceremony on Oct. 1.