GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) – Groups of volunteers are working to improve George County school facilities while students are out of the classroom over the summer. 

A parent-led project has been working at Agricola Elementary School to restore an antique fire truck and train caboose to be a functional classroom space again.

The caboose at Agricola Elementary before and after volunteers painted it.

The same volunteers are also fixing benches and the canopy at the bus stop at the school. Their projects have spent nearly $1,400 in donations from a car show and local businesses and residents. Members of Journey Church in Lucedale have also worked in the elementary schools for “Love + Serve” nights.

“It’s one of the biggest obvious needs in our city. We started just soliciting ideas from the staff, starting with the principal, finding out how can we help,” said Journey elder Barry Jemison.

Projects have included installing a 150-foot water line to the greenhouse at L.T. Taylor Intermediate and touching up paint in classrooms, restriping a basketball court in the gymnasium, picking up litter, repairing bleachers and installing flower beds between Agricola, Benndale, and L.C. Hatcher elementary schools.

“We’re thankful for everything that the school staff do for our kids, so if we can help them in any way with these projects that can’t always be a priority for them but make the buildings a little more welcoming and provide a little bit better experience for the kids, that’s important. All these little things add up over time,” said volunteer Jess Wilson.

The district has also been making large improvements over the summer with new HVAC systems approved for the middle school gym and high school cafeteria and gym. $3 per student is budgeted for maintenance during the 2022-2023 school year.