BAYONET POINT — With a little help from some 100 friends, Schrader Elementary teachers should be moved into the new building and ready to go when students return on Aug. 18.
The move-in day event Friday brought together a host of Rotarians, community members and district staff to the rebuilt school at 11041 Little Road.
Their mission, since they decided to accept it, was to move boxes, assemble furniture, arrange desks and furniture, and lend a hand to teachers on any other chore.
Joining them was Pasco Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning, mopping his brow and neck with a red bandana when outside during the hot and humid day. Browning helped put together tables in a kindergarten class.
Principal Tammy Berryhill greeted many of the volunteers as they checked in. They included Gail Armstrong, executive director of PACE Center for Girls, who brought along several students.
School Board member Cynthia Armstrong had pleaded for help from the public and was pleased by the strong turnout. She was ably assisted by husband and fellow real estate broker Greg Armstrong. He tackled carting discarded cardboard boxes to recycling bins on the school grounds, among other tasks.
“We got people to just responded to the article in The Suncoast News who called and wanted to be a part of it,” Armstrong said as he manhandled the huge, empty boxes into position.
“We’ve got them from 16 to 75 out here working,” Armstrong observed about the wide range of ages of volunteers. “There’s a lot of work to do in just 10 days to open this school, but we’re going to make a dent today.”
Inside, site manager Tracy Potter and assistant site manager Laura Goggin brought boxes of supplies to set up in the office for PLACE, or Pasco Learning and Activity Centers of Enrichment.
Rotarians provided lunch for all volunteers at noon.
The $12.6 million reconstruction project essentially tore down the 40-year-old building to make way for the modern facility.
Only a 16-classroom addition that was completed in 2003 remained intact. While construction was taking place this past school year, portable classrooms were moved to the property to house most of the 550 students, their teachers and other staff members.
The project includes 24 classrooms, a music suite, an art suite, media center, cafeteria, administrative suite and a covered play area.
With the work at Schrader nearing an end, school district offials are working on plans for a major renovation of the adjacent Bayonet Point Middle School.