“It really is amazing to see how far the building has come,” remarked Nicki Jones Lansford. The school house was hidden behind 25 years of brush growth. It had been home to various forms of wildlife over the years. The Auxiliary spent several work days cleaning, clipping and hauling brush just to get in and out of the building.
Bee County farmer Arturo Gaitan donated his bulldozing services to clear the area before the November open house. His mother attended the Jarrett School. Since the November open house, Bob Scott, Joe Simonson and Mark Greiner have each lent their time and equipment to further cleanup operations. Carlene Lockard was amazed by how rich the soil around the school was. She and the rest of the Auxiliary members are ready for the cleanup to be finished so they can start landscaping the property.
In January, the Auxiliary put a new roof on the school house. According to Carlene, “We had to secure it against the weather, before we could do much else. It’s still going to be a lot of work, but the progress has been amazing.” The roof was followed by new doors. Electricity had to be run to the building with the meters, poles etc. The Auxiliary is also raising money to replace the windows. In order to replace the same type and size windows would require $900 each for all ten windows or a total of $9,000. The Auxiliary is evaluating other types of windows that retain the character of the building without breaking the bank.
As part of the fundraising activities, the Auxiliary held a raffle with a quilt donated by Sharon Corpstein of Beeville. The fabulous, king-size quilt was exceptionally well-made and attractive. Sharon has donated many quilts to St. Joseph Parish for their auctions. The quilts always fetch top dollar. This quilt was no exception – the raffle raised in excess of $1,300 to go toward the renovation project. Samantha Lansford and Anissa Gaitan, grandchildren of Jarrett Alumni, were on hand to draw the winners.
The raffle included a decorated bird bath and garden stepping stones. Stan Simonson won the bird bath and Terri Ehrlich won the stepping stones. They both donated the prizes to the Mariano Virata Memorial Butterfly Garden at St. Mary’s Academy Charter School. Mariano, a former St. Mary’s student, was killed in a tragic accident prior to spring break. The Auxiliary has been a partner of St. Mary’s Charter School for a variety of projects and activities. Many of the members expressed how happy they were that the raffle items would be used for such a worthy project.
The Auxiliary is planning its next open house for early November next year. The members hope to have the windows and stucco complete by then. Anyone interested in donating may contact Carlene Lockard at 547-3459 or Terese Simonson at 547-9948.