Nine hundred people are friends of the Red Bank High School Makeover Facebook page, so it is estimated that hundreds will show up to help give the school a facelift inside and out July 21-28.
A banner hanging across Dayton Boulevard and a nearby billboard encourage the community to "Be a Part of the Pride." The slogan is the overall theme for the makeover that will involve volunteers taking shifts working from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. daily.
"Red Bank is a tight-knit community," said RBHS Makeover project manager Barri Harper. "Red Bank High School has been in business for 75 years. The makeover will end with an open house July 29 at 2 p.m."
He has been in the construction business for years, and is excited to be able to volunteer to use his skills to help RBHS, he said. Harper said the project is coming together and volunteers will fan out and paint 45 classrooms. All the window shades in the building will be replaced with 475 solar charcoal shades for energy conservation and aesthetic appeal.
Harper said the largest donation to the project thus far was a check presented by the Red Bank Lions Club for $10,000.
The Red Bank Chamber Council, Red Bank High alumni and the new Zaxby's and Baskin Robbins stores, located nearby on Signal Mountain Road, have also contributed funding for the project.
"We set a fundraiser goal to raise $150,000 for the makeover," said Harper. "If we get grants we might make the goal. We could still do the programs in the $80,000 to $90,000 price range. We could still do the shades, painting and white board repairs. We hope to do locker renovations too, though. Some of the lockers have bent doors. We would like to add technology upgrades too."
Harper said BASF has offered to sponsor the renovations of a chemistry lab in the school.
"Red Bank High School is structurally in good shape," said Harper, adding that when a tornado touched down on top of the building minimal damage occurred, proving that the building can last awhile longer. "The makeover is all about cosmetic work to make it a nice learning environment for the students. When the construction company worked on the middle school, they tore up the parking lots, but I heard all the parking lots would be repaved soon."
He said teams will scatter across the entire campus to create outdoor appeal too.
"We will put together teams to prune trees, paint signs, pressure wash the building, paint the front canopies and work on landscaping around the building," said Harper. "We will try to give it curb appeal. When crews started building Red Bank Middle School in the back, we started talking to a lot of parents and teachers. We thought, 'Ya know, that's going to be a brand new nice school.' We wanted the high school to look to the standard of the middle school. The end result will be the entire campus for both middle school and high school will be topnotch."
He said the campus has a community feel because many residents walk or run around the school track or take their children to little league games at Dixie Youth fields in back.
"When the makeover is complete, we plan to launch a Red Bank High School Education Fund," said Harper. "It would replenish funds for the school to use for technology upgrades."
Harper said his wife Elaine taught chemistry at RBHS for seven years. Even though she is leaving to become assistant principal at Dalewood Middle School in the fall, the couple still has ties to RBHS since their son will be a freshman there in the fall.