The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Lowe's Heroes Beautifies West Central Schools

On Saturday, October 11, 2008, the Lowe's Heroes project kicked off at 8 a.m. at the West Central Elementary and High Schools in Biggsville. 39 people including Lowe's employees, students, parents, elementary staff and faculty totaled over 268 volunteer hours creating a safer, more beautiful area for their learning environment for 743 youth and over 100 teachers and staff of Henderson County. The Burlington Lowe's store and its vendors contributed nearly $2,000 to the project in lumber, paint, landscaping and more.

The rebar and police crime tape was replaced with over 675 feet of post holes dug and fencing installed along the high school parking lot, bus lane and north side of the elementary parking lot. This will help prevent parking on grass areas and eliminate the maintenance to replace and repair those areas in the future. John Toyne, Operations Manager at Lowe's rented an auger to aide the posthole digging, which was completed within 4 hours.

Decorative caps were added to each post to finish the day's project. The fence is designed to not be an obstacle for snow plowing the schools' parking lots but still requires a coat of stain.

The elementary and high school parking lots were repainted to emphasize the handicap parking and make the concrete parking barriers more visible.

The three concrete posts were updated with bright yellow enamel paint. Russ Krieger spent time cleaning the parking areas with his weed eater giving the final touch to that project. This will assist defining parking availability and preventing accidental damage to car undercarriages.

The Lowe's store manager, Rick McAllister used his personal equipment to power wash the FFA storage building on the northeast side of the football field on Thursday. On Saturday, he and Dee Dee Walker finished improving the building by scraping and applying several coats of paint with remarkable results. This will assist in deterring deterioration of that building and visually improve the area.

The wooden playground equipment received two coats of translucent stain, sealing it against weather, sun damage and adds to the life appearance of the equipment.

The metal playground equipment was transformed with enamel paint in bright primary colors and white. Missing swings were replaced and ropes were added so the five tether-balls will again be available to the students.

Shrubs were planted behind the 4th grade classrooms to enhance the ongoing nature program those teachers initiated. The shrubs added a great deal to the environment for the bird-feeders and as they grow will provide a safe place birds to feed. The trees along the front of the buildings and playground were trimmed and mulched as part of the beautification effort.

Elementary school principal, Mr. Dale Buss commented several times at the remarkable change in appearance.

"Cindy (Siegrist) Hanssen who works at Lowes and lives in Stronghurst was the individual that  organized all the work projects," Mr. Buss said. "She coordinated the local volunteers and the volunteers from Lowes. It was a very worthwhile project that helped to make the school a better place. Cindy has a son currently at the high school."

"All the people that helped with the Lowe's Heroes project are deeply appreciated," said high school principal Phil Geiser. "It was heart touching to see people from as far away as Fort Madison, IA, come together with the school, scouts and Lowe's employees to make this remarkable difference for the county after dealing with the floods and recovery efforts. 40 of the students and families are still displaced and being bussed to and from their temporary homes."