HOW TO HELP
Visit www.beapartofthepride.org or come by Red Bank High School, 640 Morrison Springs Road, at these times:
• 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday
• 1-10 p.m. Sunday
• 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday
Red Bank High School is ready for its big face-lift.
School leaders and volunteers have manpower, cash and supplies on hand to complete a one-week cosmetic renovation of the aging school. Dubbed "Be A Part of the Pride," the project kicks off with an 8 a.m. event Saturday and work continues until July 28.
Organizers had hoped to gather $150,000 in donations for the project, but the $50,000 that's so far committed is enough to get the large-scale painting, cleaning and landscaping effort under way. Workers will repaint classrooms, install solar shades and whiteboards and clean up and remulch current landscaping. In all, 45 classrooms will get face-lifts.
Mike Congdon, one of the organizers, said some outdoor work such as painting will wait until spring when construction on the nearby new Red Bank Middle School wraps up.
The makeover effort is relying on the volunteer labor and financial support of local businesses, teachers, community members and alumni. This is the first of three phases of renovations and upgrades at Red Bank High planned by organizers.
"It's just neat to see the community come together and be Red Bank. It's kind of what we do," Congdon said.
So far, nearly 300 people have committed online to volunteering. Organizer Barri Harper said more are expected to show up. Volunteers can drop in or register at bepartofthepride.org.
"People are welcome anytime they can come," Harper said. "We've got plenty of jobs for anybody who wants to work."
Project organizers already have prepared much of the school by sorting supplies and moving furniture from classrooms. Principal Justin Robertson said staff and faculty members are excited about the rehab and more than half the staff is getting involved with the work.
"I think that it's going to go well," he said. "There's always a certain bit of anxiousness about pulling off something like this. But I think we're in good shape."
Kevin rejoined the Times Free Press in August 2011 as the Southeast Tennessee K-12 education reporter. He worked as an intern in 2009, covering the communities of Signal Mountain, Red Bank, Collegedale and Lookout Mountain, Tenn. A native Kansan, Kevin graduated with bachelor's degrees in journalism and sociology from the University of Kansas. After graduating, he worked as an education reporter in Hutchinson, Kan., for a year before coming back to Chattanooga. Honors include a ...