Family helps renovate school building

Crowley's Ridge Improvements
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The Crowley's Ridge Academy renovated the pre-school building this summer and was able to save money on the project.

The school cut some spending cost thanks to a generous family with ties to the school.

"My granddaughter was in PALS herself this past year and all of them have been in PALS so we have had a pretty good history here," Raymond Lasley said.

Three generations of the Lasley family have either attended school at CRA or worked there.

So when Raymond Lasley heard the pre-school PALS was in need of a facelift, he quickly offered to help and so did his grandkids.

"A lot of things around the academy are done on a volunteer basis and this was something I could do and something I had the time to do and I could involve my grandkids too," Lasley said.

According to Lasley, when the fire marshal told the school the PALS building needed to be upgrade Lasley offered to help and the school agreed.

"It was too good to pass up because it included a lot of free labor from him," Co-President of CRA Greg Kinser said.

Kinser said the project was worth about $100,000 but the school only paid about $35,000 thanks to Lasley and his grandkids.

"He has done a great job and it wouldn't have happened without him because the project would have been too costly for us with all the work we needed to do to get it done," Kinser said.

The family started work in May and spent the summer stripping walls and floors, moving two walls, installing fire grade Sheetrock, adding new wiring, and creating a new classroom.

"They have been able to help me lift the sheet rock and put it on the sheet rock jack that helps put it up on the walls and then they helped me put the screws in. They were able to use the cutters to cut out the electrical boxes," Lasley said. "Hopefully they learned a lot finishing Sheetrock and a lot about work."

Lasley said his three grandsons, Justus Stewart, Joshua Stewart and Jude Stewart were a huge help on the project, but his granddaughter Jenna Stewart, who just finished PALS, was a help too.

"My grandson's and even my granddaughter came up and helped; she picked up nails and helped cleaned the floor. We made the inside of the building look like a brand new building," Lasley said.

He said the kids really seemed to enjoy the project this summer.

"I think they enjoyed helping. They wanted to come up and I would look for jobs for them to do so they could be a part of it," Lasley said.

Lasley told Region 8 News he was glad to help the school because he used to teach there and so did his wife.

His daughter and son-in-law also met at the school where their four children now attend.

Lasley said helping the school community is just something parents, student, and faculty do and the school is appreciative of the this help.

"Crowley's Ridge Academy is dependent on this family atmosphere because we do not have a lot of extra money to operate so we depend on great families like the Lasley and the Stewart families and people like that that are willing to pitch in and help out," Kinser said. "We have a lot of people who do those things for us and the school continues to prosper because of people like that."

Kinser said a project like this would not be possible without help from the community.

"People have pitched in to help us either monetarily or physically by coming up and doing work for us or donating or buying things so it has just been great," Kinser said.

The project is almost complete and the doors will be installed next week.

The school said the project will be done by the beginning of school.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android