Volunteers ready for annual work day at Telstar complex

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BETHEL — The Telstar Middle/High School complex will be humming with activity Saturday, May 15, when dozens of contractors, students, staff, parents and community members will paint, landscape and complete a number of improvement projects at the school.

The Second Annual Contractors’ Day will be held from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“This helps kids see that businesses, parents and the community are all involved in education and the facility,” said 1982 Telstar High School graduate and organizer of the event, Rick Savage.

Last year’s event drew 90 people who completed nearly $30,000 worth of work inside and outside the complex.

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All of the work and most of the materials, such as paint, rocks and other items, are donated by local contractors or businesses. One restaurant also promises to donate breakfast. Anyone who would like to donate money to buy some of the materials may drop off a check at the Bethel Town Office. Those who want to help are asked to show up wearing the work clothes. An assignment will then be made.

Savage, owner of Savage Contracting, has been working for several weeks to get the jobs lined up and the workers or materials needed to make them happen.

Among the projects this year is repainting some classrooms. Last year, teachers held a lottery for whose rooms would receive a fresh coat of paint, Principal Dan Hart said.

Many of the small outbuildings on the campus will be repainted blue to blend with the school’s trim. A stone wall that runs the length of the school along Route 26 will be rebuilt. The stage will be refinished. Planting beds will be constructed for a planned garden by students of teachers Melissa Prescott and Sarah Savage. Savage’s detailed work list is long and extensive.

“Rick has the vision,” Hart said. “Last year there was so much activity and everyone was smiling.”

Athletic Director Gail Wight was one of the staff who participated last year and plans to do it again this year.

“Everyone really noticed the difference,” Wight said.

Among the students who plan to work that day is sophomore Joe Blanchard, a member of the alternate Frisbee club. He wants to arm himself with a paint brush or shovel for two reasons — it’s fun, and the hours he devotes will go toward the school’s community-service requirement.

Savage said between 20 and 25 contracting firms helped out last year. He expects at least the same number this year.

“I’d like to see the idea catch on. Businesses want to do this. It’s their community and for the kids,” he said.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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