Several members of the Pettis County R-V School District are spending the week working to put a key component of the District’s strategic plan in place this week.
Volunteers from the community have been at both the high school and the elementary painting hallways throughout the school in an effort to transform the school and promote Mustang Pride.
“We started work on the project Tuesday, and I’m already amazed at what we have accomplished,” Superintendent Cody Hirschi said Wednesday. “This all stems from our strategic plan and putting that plan into action.
“We are using a portion of our tax dollars to give back to the school and community and help create a sense of pride in the district,” he added. “We did a similar project when I was at Fort Osage and I want us to do the same type of community project here.”
This is Hirschi’s first year as superintendent and he commented to the Democrat in March that within weeks of starting at the District he was approached by a student who asked him, “so how do you like being in our poor, dinky little district?” which was one of the first things Hirschi wanted to change as superintendent.
Hirschi commented that the community had been supportive of the plan especially because they helped to develop it.
“Our strategic planning committee came up with our major goals and then we formed a sub-committee that helped with the goals for the building,” Hirschi said. “They picked the color scheme and came up with a lot of really good ideas to help improve the facilities.”
The committee came up with a white, grey and orange paint scheme that reflects the district’s school colors.
Not only are the hallways receiving a fresh coat of paint but the existing hall tile floors will be covered with a new maintenance-free polyurethane flooring. The students will also have 220 new lockers to use when they arrive back at school this fall.
Additionally, the old floor in the elementary gym has been replaced, something that Hirschi said may have been done for the first time.
“I’m not sure if the floor at the elementary gym has ever been replaced,” Hirschi said. “I do know when we removed the lockers we found papers that dated back to the early 1960s and the first class that graduated from the high school was in 1964 when the schools consolidated so I think this is the first time they have been replaced as well.”
“The teachers have been told they can paint their classrooms if they want and we are going to create some new seating areas with plants and install new signs and artwork,” Hirschi added.
Hirschi is hoping to have 100 community members, students and staff help with the project and Wednesday mooring 30 individuals came to lend a hand.
Clayton Townsend, who graduated from Northwest less than a month ago, was one of the volunteers.
“I have a lot of family who is coming up through this school and I want them to have a nicer facility than I did,” Townsend said. “I took off work today to help out because I really wanted to give something back for the years I was a student here and for all the opportunities I was given.”
Pattie Wicker, the district’s bookkeeper, was also busy painting Wednesday morning.
“I really think this is such a wonderful project and I wanted to be a part of it,” Wicker said. “Both my husband and all of our kids have graduated from the school and so it holds a special place for me.
“I think a lot of people are planning on coming out to help even if they can only paint for four or five hours, that means a lot too,” she added. “I know some of the students will be in and out of the buildings this summer for camps and things but I can’t wait to see their faces when the students return this fall and get to see all of this for the first time.”
The district is also working on improvements to their athletic facilities.
“We have already completed a lot of work on our baseball and football fields,” Hirschi said. “We are currently installing a chat track around our football field and hope to have that completed before school begins as well.
“It was the right time for us to jump in with these projects for the community and our students,” Hirschi added. “It will take some work, but it’s been a really fun project for us.”
If community members would like to volunteer, the painting project will take place at both the Pettis County R-V elementary and high school from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today through Saturday.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484