By Anne Marie Amacher
DAVENPORT — Thanks to volunteers known as the “Honey Do’s,” several large projects were completed over the summer at All Saints Catholic School. Principal Cheryl Lafferty said the amount of work completed was amazing.
Last December, she was hired as an interim administrator and was asked to evaluate the space at the school because of a space crunch. She enlisted the help of Linda Duffy and the two took a tour of the school grounds. They came up with some ideas and then brought parents into the process.
Among the challenges: The media center was very large and a wall (in the center) divided the space where social studies class was taught for some of the grade levels. But the wall wasn’t soundproofed. A former administrator’s office was being used as a storage closet. Art classes were held in the cafeteria and those classes were often interrupted.
“Then I had a vision of how to get things done,” said Lafferty.
The school had a buildings and grounds committee, but most of the members no longer had students at All Saints. She wanted to get more parents — especially the fathers — involved. She met with a dad and shared her idea with him. He brought more men into the process and the group grew. The group became known as the “Honey Do’s,” a title which Lafferty said the men didn’t mind.
Bids had been sought for some of the projects, but the Honey Do’s stepped forward to do the work themselves. The dads have a variety of work backgrounds from engineering to construction and beyond. They worked days, nights and weekends at their convenience. Some materials were donated.
The media center was moved to a different room on second floor. The old media center’s temporary wall was removed and a permanent, soundproofed wall was installed to create two classrooms. A new server/computer tech room was converted from an old office. “We ended up with one more classroom than we had before in the building,” Lafferty said.
In addition, walls and classrooms were cleaned and several walls were painted from floor to ceiling. Lafferty noted that some areas had only been painted as high as someone could reach in the past.
The fifth-graders were moved inside the main school building from the portable rooms outside. Art and enrichment classes were moved from the cafeteria to one of the portable classrooms out in the parking lot. The second room in the portables is being used for storage at this point, she said. A new principal’s office has been relocated and finished.
Landscaping work was completed and the exterior windows washed. The volunteers also hung new emergency and exit lighting signs in the school, which was recommended after a safety audit last school year.
Thanks to the generosity of the volunteers, the teachers are hosting a thank-you event later this month.
“It was the coolest thing to see the dads come together,” Lafferty said.