Contractors donate services to school | News
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT)- A small school is getting a big gift this weekend. Contractors will be helping an independent middle school for students from low-income, East End Richmond neighborhoods. They're making upgrades to the building that could change the way the students learn.
Saturday, the school grounds on North 29th Street will be bustling with activity. 50 contractors are donating their time, services and expertise to the small, nonprofit school with a lofty mission.
By anyone's standards, middle school years are tough, both for the students and the teachers trying to shape their lives. It is often during this time when students get on the wrong track. The Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School hopes to fight that trend.
"It's to try and change the trajectory of students' lives, to prepare them to succeed in high school and to think about college in a very real way," school head Mike Maruca told us.
Right now, the independent, faith-based school takes care of fifty students mostly from nearby projects. With a tuition-free system, the mission isn't always easy. This is the first year the school has used the building near Creighton Court. It needs upgrades, which a contractors' group is now donating.
"There's a need and we really wanted to try to find a way to help," explained David Turner of Associated General Contractors of Virginia, Inc.
The building used to house a preschool. You can imagine how difficult it would be for a middle school student to work at a station made for a toddler. New counters will be installed, making it easier for the older kids to use.
Also on the list are work in the art and science rooms, a timed bell and intercom system, floor and ceiling repairs and new basketball hoops.
Turner estimated if this work was to be contracted out, it would cost between $25,000 and $30,000 and 500 to 600 man hours.
"Kids will be able to do things in school that they otherwise would not be able to," Maruca said.
This year, the school expanded to include eighth grade students. So, this will be its first graduating class.
The contractor's group hopes it can do more work like this in the future. The school is expecting almost two dozen new students here next fall.
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