Fixer upper: Phoenix Academy student completes renovation project for graduation

Published 10:53 am Friday, May 26, 2017

Phoenix Academy student has taken the lead on a beautification project at the school to fulfill a graduation requirement.

According to teacher Jas Smith, Dennis Carpenter stepped up to lead the project that was funded through a grant procured by Community Education.

“I’m really impressed with (Dennis),” Smith said. “He showed a slow transition to leadership in his time here.”

The project included refurbishing seven old desks that had been in use for decades.

“They were so rough you couldn’t write on them just on a piece of paper,” said Phoenix student Dakota Townsend, who assisted on the project. “You had to use a notebook.”

Using technical knowledge from corporate sponsor Kirk Gilchrist of Euro-Werks, Carpenter led a small team of students in sanding down the tops of the desks, using wood filler to smooth out the rough spots, and painting and refinishing them. 

Community Education Director Cora Heffner said the project was funded through a Schools-to-Careers grant.

“Community Education received a two-year grant from the Steele-Reese Foundation in fall of 2015 to provide two years of funds for the School-To-Careers program: $7,500 for 2015-16 school year then $5,000 for the current school year,” Heffner said.

The funds are offered to CCPS teachers and counselors as mini-grants for career development projects. 

Funds may be used for project supplies, curricula materials, and field trip expenses including meals. A requirement is that each project include community volunteers, Heffner said.

Gilchrist served as the community partner for this project, which he said was his first time partnering with the school system.

Carpenter also used the funding to repaint the interior of the Phoenix Academy building.