Major Project: Hands-on Teachers Lounge Renovation

Participation from the school community was the key to success for the winner of Outstanding Major Project or Program in the 2014 Parent Group of the Year search.

by Shonne Fegan-Ehrhardt


To mark the school’s 20th anniversary, the Trailridge Elementary PTA in Lee’s Summit, Mo., took on a huge task—renovating the teachers lounge from floor to ceiling on a very small budget. Parents spent a year requesting donations of goods and services before starting renovation work. The result was impressive, indeed. The makeover, which was valued at $20,000, was completed at a cost of only $1,300!

“The goal was to give the teachers a nice place to relax for lunch or social gatherings, and to let them know the PTA appreciated the huge lifetime impact teachers have on their students,” says PTA president Michelle Chick. “We couldn’t have done it without the support of our community and are so grateful to the local businesses who donated their furniture or resources to help us make this happen. It truly was a team effort.”

Throughout summer 2013, the PTA at the K-6 school of 430 students called on the (in some cases, hidden) talents of its members and ended up with teams of parents willing to help. One parent built a handcrafted buffet table, while others tore out the old lounge, stained and lacquered cabinets, installed a mosaic backsplash, painted walls, and waxed new flooring.

The result? The PTA began and completed the demolition and renovation work over the summer, finishing in time for the first day of school. When teachers reported for the new school year, they found a newly deco-rated teachers lounge complete with new cabinets, furniture, lighting, and appliances.

In addition to the lounge renovation, the PTA coordinated the creation of a reading nook in the library, utilizing the services of an interior designer to make the nook an inviting and welcoming place for students to learn.

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