MIDWEST CITY — Principal Danette Hall beamed Monday as all 52 members of the Midwest City-Del City School District's maintenance team shuffled around her, carrying ladders, electric drills and paint buckets.
Jarman Middle School, which opened at 5 W MacArthur Drive in 1944, is getting the first major makeover in its 69-year-history, Hall said.
Nestled in the heart of Midwest City, in the town's original square mile, the one-story middle school serves students in grades 6 through 8.
Jarman is first school to benefit from a new district beautification and improvement program.
“It's so exciting, I can't wait for the kids to return and see it all,” said Hall, a Jarman Middle School alumna.
She said the renovations, both large and small, will have a profound impact on student and teacher morale.
“You don't think the little things matter so much. Sometimes you don't even notice them. But when the teachers walk into their classrooms with new blinds and floors, it's going to make a big difference,” she said.
Superintendent Pam Deering suggested the program, which will upgrade one school in the district each summer.
“This program will give one specific school a boost over the summer by allowing the entire team to focus their attention for one week on improving the overall school inside and out,” Deering said.
Mike Bryan, director of maintenance and construction, said project materials alone cost the district $65,000, money left over from a retired bond issue.
The district's maintenance team will address nearly 300 work order requests that have been compiled throughout the years at Jarman.
Projects include painting, installing window blinds and ceiling tiles, baseboard repairs, wallboard replacement, door and window repairs, guttering upgrades, tree removal, as well as plumbing, mechanical and electrical issues.
Among those working at the school is Kenny Long, 55, who has been a cabinet maker for the school district for five years. His sons — Bryan, 27, a locksmith, and Kevin, 20, an electrician — work with him.
Long said he hopes to share the same purpose he feels for his work with his sons.
“It's more than just putting in a screw or diving a nail. It's about making our future stronger,” he said. “I know it's not our job to teach this generation, to pass our knowledge on to them. But it's our job to give them an environment they can learn in.”