« Clean-up at the home of the Cougars | Main | Who are you impacting? »

From rendering to reality

ShareFest has had a vision for the last year. It's a vision inspired and created by the students of Banning High School in Wilmington. And during ShareFest's Seventh Annual Workday, with more than 1,000 volunteers on campus, it wasn't just a vision any more. Over the past week, volunteers have transformed Banning's quad area, and today, the finishing touches made it real.

For a year, this rendering has been passed around the ShareFest offices. It's gone back and forth to LAUSD officials. It's been approved and poured over by Banning administrators, students and LAUSD governing bodies:

The rendering is what the students in Banning's fire academy came up with when they decided they needed to help their school. As they put it, "We sat down one day, we saw there was a problem there. So we ended up trying to find a solution for it, and we ended up with this."

The problem they saw was a hole in the middle of campus. Last year, hundreds of Banning students participated in the Sixth Annual Workday. They had a huge impact, painting multiple murals, planting and mulching gardens. But, it all happened around a muddy field in the middle of campus:

Completely overhauling that mass of patchy grass and stubbed palm trees was the next step in students' eyes. It wasn't simple though. For ShareFest to lead the project, it would have to pioneer new ground.

LAUSD had never allowed an outside organization to plan and execute such a big renovation to one of its campuses, but—with the support of the Wilmington community, sweat of countless volunteers, grants from LAUSD, the City of Los Angeles, Board of Public Works, Office of Community Beautification & UCLA and generous donors and work from some extremely dedicated contractors—ShareFest did it:

It's one of the most ambitious projects ShareFest has taken on in a single year. It would have cost the School District somewhere around $400,000, but volunteers completed it for a fraction of that price. Now it's one more symbol of students' pride in Banning, and the community's pride in them.

Right before the quad was christened "Banning Plaza," Principal Robert Lopez, had a message for his students.

"This is what I want to say to all my students, all of you here. Everyone believes in you. Just like all of you always heard us say that you are the pride of Wilmington, that you deserve the best—these individuals believe that too," he said. "The message that I have for my students is that ShareFest has done all of this because the people of ShareFest have found that the best way to achieve a happy life is giving of yourself."

Thank you to all of you who gave of yourselves this Workday. You are the core of ShareFest and the community. Your sacrifice goes a long way to making other people happy too. The enormous ceremony dedicating Banning Plaza today proved it.

The quad was only one of more than 335 projects during the Seventh Annual Workday. Keep checking back for more updates as we share what happened all over the South Bay and Harbor areas on May 1. Help us by commenting and telling us your own Workday stories! Thanks everyone!

References (4)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (3)

Awesome story. Awesome Day. I was there.

May 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary Gant

[...] Banning Quad project and how it was [...]

November 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShareFest Blog!

[...] Get involved, ShareFest, wilmington The ShareFest event happened in Wilmington today and a lot was done. Banning H.S now has a brand new quad area. There were volunteers at Hawaiian Avenue Elementary, [...]

November 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShareFest

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.