There is always a to-do list going in Principal Tammy Guthrie’s office at Vern Riffe School. Some things have to be done now, some things will get done soon, some things … well, it would be really nice if they were done, but maybe they’re just too costly or require too many man hours right now.
On Saturday, July 15, Serve Day Portsmouth volunteers tackled projects citywide, including a list of potential tasks submitted by Vern Riffe School with School Secretary Missy Cassidy acting as liaison.
A crew of 25-30 volunteers showed up to paint, build, scrub, and wax parts of the 103-year-old building that now serves students with multiple disabilities. One such project that had regularly been on the to-do list but was often bumped was the waxing of the gym floor, which Guthrie said was estimated at $1,200. With a donation of wax by Cleaning Supply Company and the donated time and elbow grease of the Serve Day volunteers, that is a cost savings to the school on a project that affects one of the most used parts of the building.
“The gym has never been involved in our summer projects,” Guthrie said. “It was great to have the gym project completed by Serve Day volunteers. The students take a lot of pride in all the activities that take place in the gym. They’ll be thrilled to see the floor shining!”
The VRS playground was also freshened up by the volunteers, who painted the basketball court and a four-square game area. They also painted yellow safety stripes on the outdoor steps. All paint used for the projects was donated by Sherwin Williams.
“We just brainstormed projects that would be nice if they could be completed but wouldn’t interrupt daily operations,” Guthrie said.
The volunteers also built a wall in the transition area to make a new space available for students.