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Student Wellness Center and Art Gallery Provides Respite at Myers Park High

When the pressures of school and life become too much, Myers Park High School students have a calming, home-like environment where they can retreat, relax, de-stress and de-escalate.

LoungeThe Student Wellness Center and Art Gallery was dedicated Feb. 21 to the memory of student Jason Huff Jr. The center was merged with the Art Gallery – dedicated in 1987 in memory of art teacher Dean Barber – and is located in the school’s original student center building. Funded by the Huff family, school administration and the Myers Park High School Foundation, the space is open each day during the school's five lunch periods.

Students use the space in different ways, whether they need time for emotional regulation or to find comfortable seating areas where they can connect with peers, play games and enjoy their surroundings. Fireplaces that once worked when Myers Park opened in 1951 are now lit with neon fires. Walls are covered either by large windows or artwork, including Jason’s Wall, a colorful mural inspired by Huff and created by Myers Park art teacher Brian Hester and Charlotte artist Hayley Moran.


“I had this vision of the space becoming a student center again,” said Principal Robert Folk, who is also a Myers Park graduate. “For a number of years, this was not accessible to students, but we were able to completely renovate the space over a full semester. I love that as we have changed this campus over time, that this space has existed as it was originally built. It has all this history, it’s a memory for the school, and we just want to carry that forward.”

Lisa Cline, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education member for District 5, said that in our society, students need these gathering places. “I can’t applaud the community more for what they’ve done here,” she said. “It’s just like being at home. I encourage parents to come and see what’s here for their children.”

Folk said the center is also used for small-group counseling and that staff have also used it for yoga classes and meetings. 

“It’s very much needed, and we allow students to make it their own,” Folk said. “My hope is this space becomes a center of peace and healing.”

Click here learn more about Student Wellness services at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.