After the school received 200 gallons of paint as a prize for its third-place finish in the Colorful Classrooms Contest sponsored by Glidden, the two weeks of holiday break were circled on the calendar as the starting point for applying the new color scheme to the gym, library and classrooms.
Had Franklin won the contest, Glidden would have supplied a professional paint crew, but instead it was up to Principal Todd Poole and the district to figure out who would apply the paint.
Enter a crew of 15 volunteers from the Home Depot store in Streetsboro, who gave two full days of their time on Jan. 2 and 3 to come in and paint the gym with new colors.
"There was also a manager who came down from Maple Heights to donate time and some from Aurora as well," Poole said.
Poole said the volunteers arrived at 8 a.m. and stayed until nearly 6 p.m. both days.
Nearly 300 man-hours for the job consisted of first dealing with the existing surface and getting it ready for primer, then applying three coats of paint. The south wall of the gym stands out from the other three, as the deep, dark red color features a massive Rough Riders logo painted in black byparent Amy Pennell, who has worked on painting projects as part of a previous job.
Pennell will also paint another copy of the Rough Riders logo on the wall in front of the main office to greet students, teachers and visitors as they enter the front door each day.
The other three walls in the gym are a dark, olive-colored hue that complements the red wall well. Because of the sheer size of the area to be painted, the gym was the single largest component of the project.
The main office was also painted over the holiday break in the same dark olive shade, along with two classrooms.
The third-grade classroom of Stephanie Holman and the fourth-grade classroom of Regina Heimann were the first two to be painted. Unlike the gym, the individual classrooms will all be painted by the teachers themselves - and any friends or family members they can talk into volunteering.
"I think seeing the first stages of the project has really energized everyone and they want to get started on theirs," Poole added. The leaders of the project selected 13 colors and each classroom will have two complimentary colors on its walls. Holman's colors are a light blue and yellow, while Heimann selected the same yellow and green.
The library is also on the agenda and will be painted with two shades of purple.
For a building that has existed since 1922, and definitely shows it in certain spots, the makeover is part of an effort to make the school warmer and create a more conducive environment for learning.