During the three days before school started, Sunset Elementary underwent an unplanned construction project: a new teachers’ lounge. After 48 years, the faculty was looking for an upgrade.
“We had a 48-year-old, one-piece kitchenette unit, and the rest of the faculty room was in bad shape,” said Candy St. John, the school’s media specialist who headed the effort. “It was very torn and worn, and not a cheery, tranquil place to be in.”
A few years ago, the teachers started fundraising to remodel the lounge on their own. In June, St. John went to Lowe’s to get an estimate and answers to a few questions. While there, she learned about the Heroes Project, Lowe’s community outreach program that remodels a local business or public school for free, was using this project as a way to train new employees. St. John submitted a request for the teachers’ lounge to be considered for the Heroes Project, and Sunset was accepted.
The teachers’ lounge was completely remodeled: new paint, blinds, cabinets, countertops, appliances, a floor, a sink and a hood over the stove. The school was also gifted a new microwave, Keurig machine, and a Swiffer mop that is specialized for the new floor.
“You walk in and it’s a tranquil place for [the faculty] to feel loved and supported,” St. John said. “This is absolutely breathtaking. The entire Sunset faculty is overwhelmed.”