JCSU Completes Retool Your School Project
Charlotte, N.C./Sept. 19, 2022 – Nearly 80 volunteers spent their Saturday renovating Greenfield Gardens, a project made possible by the $30,000 grant from the 2021 Retool Your School competition presented by Home Depot.
“I was so humbled by the people who came out,” said Dr. Davida L. Haywood, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “We really are stronger together. We are one community and, when we put our minds to something, we can achieve great things.”
Volunteers included students, staff, the marching band, alumni and Home Depot employees.
The decision to choose Greenfield Gardens was easy, said Erna Perkins Jones, director of Facilities.
“Out of every other residential building on campus, Greenfield has a beautiful view of the Charlotte skyline,” she said. “We wanted students to have a space to be able to appreciate that.”
The project entailed mulching, planting, installation of chairs, painting the fence and more.
Several students participated to earn community service hours while doing their part to improve campus.
Cierra Carter, a junior social work major, lives in Greenfield and said she was happy to use her time to beautify the greenspace behind her residence hall.
“I think this space will bring us together because students can sit, interact together and enjoy the beautiful scenery,” she said. “The project was a great way to interact with my community and school, and to be able to make a change and do something productive with my time.”
The International Institution of Sound marching band used the beautification project as an opportunity to strengthen bonds and help increase pride on campus.
Under the direction of Dr. Rodney Chism, director of Bands and assistant professor of Music, the band has adopted four pillars they live by: discipline, pride, attitude and commitment.
He said this service opportunity allowed each student in the IIOS to live up to these four pillars.
“Working together on this project shows unity and school spirit,” said Chism. “This shows pride and commitment to the University, discipline because they woke up this morning to come out and they have a positive attitude while they’re working out here.”
The project will have a second phase, which will be executed during Homecoming Week and will include the installation of grills, firepits, shade sails and outdoor lighting.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place Homecoming Weekend to celebrate the new space.
“We’re grateful to Home Depot for all of their support,” said Haywood. “This is now a reimagined campus space for everyone to come and use.”