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MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – A group of students in Collin County have spent the past year working on a rooftop green space for their high school — like Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, but on a school building. Now, the project has gotten attention from Southern Methodist University.

It does not look like much yet, but the 17 engineering students from McKinney Boyd High School already have an idea of what the space will be when it is completed, and they want it to be great. “We can see what our vision is,” said Jodie Chen. They are trying to create a living rooftop.

Learn More About The Project

“Instead of tearing down the roof that we already had existing, we’re just putting in a new roof over the courtyard that’s sitting there empty,” explained junior Zachary Post.

The green space will feature planter boxes, trees, benches and even a stage. It is being designed for all students — from special organization events to classes held outdoors. “We want to think of it as an extension to a classroom, sort of,” said Chen. “Like, you can learn in the classroom. Sometimes you get sort of bored, because you’re stuck in there. So, we wanted somewhere else we could go.”

The students developing their plan after a little push from their engineering teacher. She wanted them to think big.

Professional architects and engineers have been giving the students guidance. “It’s not like everyone has a project this big that they’ve done by themselves,” said junior Sagar Patel. “We’ve had help, but, as we say, for the students, by the students.”

The project has been so impressive that it has even gotten SMU’s attention. The 17 engineering students were asked to be part of special events for the university. “We’re going to say we did this,” added Post. “It is an accomplishment that no one else has really done, especially by the students.”

The first event is on Friday, and another will take place Saturday, both at the Dallas City Performance Hall. Click here for full details and ticket information.

But what the high school students need now is money — up to $500,000. They have already started fundraising with hopes of construction starting this summer. Visit the group’s GoFundMe page if you would like to donate to their cause.

The students explained that this green space is the legacy they want to leave behind, and one that they want to return to even after graduation. “More of an inspiration for the next group to come through,” added Chen.