Kellond Elementary to receive an 'extreme makeover' - Tucson News Now

Kellond Elementary to receive an 'extreme makeover'

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Kellond Elementary School (Source: Amy Ijams Photography) Kellond Elementary School (Source: Amy Ijams Photography)
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

On March 1, one lucky school on Tucson's east side will get an ‘extreme makeover' thanks to U of A's Cats in the Community Day.

Annie W. Kellond Elementary School will get a ‘facelift' thanks in part to hundreds of U of A students and community members during the annual Cats in the Community Day.

Kellond was selected due to some special circumstances, said Sheila McGinnis the director of outreach and community partnerships in the Office of Community Relations, in a recent release.  The elementary school doubled its enrollment after the 2010 closing of Rogers Elementary School.  

"Due to TUSD budget cuts and school closings, their population has ballooned to 600 students," McGinnis said. "They've merged two schools together, so this will help them build their own home. They're a very enthusiastic, fun group of people."

The elementary school has also gone from its Arizona Department of Education ‘C' rating to an ‘A' rating, despite the increase in students.

"Our school has been through tremendous changes in the past three years," said Scott Hagerman, Kellond's principal. "The combination of our 'A' grade and the Cats in the Community Day facelift project will transform Kellond into a place where students can continue to learn, think, feel, create and grow."

The makeover will happen in three shifts, when volunteers will transform the school by painting, landscaping, building, cleaning and organizing.  There will also be new cement benches installed in the school's courtyard, which will be decorated with tiles designed by volunteers and Kellond students

The redesign is led by senior-level visual arts students under the direction of UA art professor Jackson Boelts. Color palette and design, including murals, will reflect the school's theme of "Feeling, Creating, Thinking, Growing." McGinnis said she hopes the design helps give the school and its students a sense of identity.

"It's to help them feel connected and make it feel like it's really theirs," McGinnis said. "In this particular year, we're going to see a unification of the elementary school and they feel so blessed by our involvement."

Funding for the project comes from a variety of sources, including sponsors like the Marshall Foundation and CyraCom International. "Cats in the Community Day is a very good example of how the University touches its neighbors," McGinnis said. "The reality is that students that feel connected to their community tend to stay and live and work in their community rather than move. That is the most ideal thing for our growth in the community. We're creating something that is long-term and immediate change."

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