Holly Pond Ag students, adult volunteers renovate school’s library

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Holly Pond agriscience students in the newly renovated library / Melanie Hall

HOLLY POND – When schools need things done, they can send a request to the school board, search the budget for available funds, and wait while bids from contractors are reviewed.  Or they can take matters into their own hands.

When Holly Pond High School needed to renovate its library and office spaces, it was students and adult volunteers who took on the project.  Worn out carpet and tile needed to be replaced, and cabinetry needed to be updated, so Principal Kim Butler called on agriscience teacher and FFA (Future Farmers of America) sponsor Rusty Roden and his students to work with a group of adult staffers and volunteers to give their facilities fresh faces.

Students took out furniture, including countertops and all cabinets that were on the floor, then removed all the carpet, tile and molding.  The library floor was stripped to bare concrete.  A water-resistant laminate was laid down by adult workers with assistance from older students, then the remodeled cabinets were installed, followed by reinstallation of molding.  The adult volunteers also installed flooring in the school office and assistant principal’s office.

The Tribune talked to Roden to find out more.

Of his ag students getting involved, he said, “We were asked by the administration if we’d be willing to help, and I told them that we’d be willing to help.  And then we were in charge of taking all the shoe molding out, pulling all the carpet up, pulling all the tile up, moving all the furniture out, putting it all back in once parent volunteers came in and laid the laminate down, and we were in charge of putting all the cabinets back in place and putting the shoe mold down. 

Roden said all of his ag students helped with the project.

“Every ag class I had, whether it be freshmen or seniors, pitched in and helped.  There were a lot of people who did a lot of work over the last couple of weeks, and I appreciate everyone’s cooperation.

“There (were) several parent volunteers.  One that comes to my mind is Eddie Cahoon; he was a former student’s parent here.  He is a professional, and that’s what he does for a living, is lays hardwood and laminate, and he came in and got everyone started in the library.  And then we had Chad Folds, Tony Harris, Steve Hollis; they put all the laminate down in the office and the assistant principal’s office.  And also Mr. Horton, Mr. Rankhorn–which is a teacher here; Mr. Horton is the maintenance man.  And Matt Wood, which is a bus driver, and Mr. Miller, the assistant principal.  They all assisted in laying the laminate down.”

This isn’t the first time Roden’s ag students have assisted with projects at the school.

“Last year, we expanded the bus drivers’ sitting area and the bus refueling station.  We also put a roof on and did some remodeling in the older gymnasium.  We made some storage areas for those people over there.  And we assisted with Coach Bates and with some projects in the field house.”

As part of its regular “classroom” curriculum, Holly Pond agriscience students receive hands-on training in such skills as woodworking and welding.  The school’s FFA program participates in livestock judging competitions, maintains an on-campus greenhouse, and hosts an annual plant sale that is well-known around the eastern part of the county.

Of the Holly Pond agriscience program, Roden said, “I was a part of it a long time ago, and that’s part of the reason I wanted to come back home.  The Holly Pond ag program’s always had a very good tradition of being very involved, not only in the community, but in the FFA aspect of things.  Holly Pond has a long tradition of having a great ag program, and I would just like to hope that we carry on the tradition of the years past.”

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