BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The second-floor auditorium at Boardman Center Intermediate School once was nothing but a plain room with chairs and tables in it, but now it’s undergone a complete transformation.

The room has a new purpose, serving as the school’s new social-emotional learning center. At the center of the room sits a tree which serves as a focal point for the space.

“It’s intended to draw you into the room. Those who know me know I’m a Disney fan, so much like Cinderella’s castle or the tree of life, it’s meant to catch your eye, and you want to explore more,” said Boardman Intermediate School Principal Mike Masucci.

From social skills and discussion cards to emotion dice, children are able to identify their emotions and when they’re feeling things like confusion or excitement.

The space also includes a 90-gallon saltwater aquarium.

“I take kids in to look at the fish tank, and that’s really soothing to them. It takes their mind off of any anxiety that they’re experiencing,” explained Maggie Kamenitsa, a counselor at the school.

A Lego wall geared toward STEM allows students to express their creativity. Students can also use yoga mats, which sixth grader Corrae Love said is her favorite part of the space.

“It really does help you get your mind off of things. I forgot all about basically everything because I was so focused on those poses,” Love explained.

A backdrop of Mill Creek Park was funded by local businesses and organizations.

Students have already begun using the space to work on self-regulation and coping skills.

“We will always teach reading and math, and social studies, and science, technology, and yet, in this day and age, social-emotional learning is critical,” said Principle Mike Masucci.

Over the upcoming break, Principal Masucci said they plan to paint the walls and soften the lights to make them appear to be clouds.

“If I’m ever struggling, I can always come here. I can always rely on this room,” said student Alek Rudiak.

Boardman Center Intermediate School tells First News it incorporated a team approach in the creation of the room. According to the school, it was important to include district and community leaders, along with parents and most importantly, students, in coming up with ideas for the space.