Volunteers Kick Off Sharefest at Jefferson HS Renovation Project

ROCKFORD, Ill.--What's summer break like at the biggest high school in Rockford?


"I had to take the ceiling tiles out, I had to prime it and what not, clean off the walls"


Joseph Hendel is among many students, community members and corporate partners volunteering for the annual Rockford Sharefest. This year, the organization is taking on the renovation project at Jefferson High School. With the distinct focus of improving schools along the Stateline, people from all walks of life have joined in the effort to make Rockford a better place.


"We're making a concerted effort here in Rockford," said Kate Nack, Field Corporate Relations Director for Allstate.


The insurance giant has make Rockford one of 16 cities around the nation a prior for their charity work.


"Everyone we talked to in the city mentioned Sharefest and what great work they do to really revitalize and renovate the schools," Nack said. "We knew it was something we wanted to be a part of as well."


Creig Day realizes that his organization have bitten off more than it could chew this time with the Jefferson project. The director says it's not just the kids who think it's a big project.


"A lot of the adults have said this is a big project. This is a huge project," said Day.


The volunteers will rip up much of the 300,000 square foot building including the library, the hallways, and more than 80 classrooms.


"I'm covered in dirt and dust and ... it's hard work," said Hendel, a junior-to-be at Jefferson.


"When we took all the ceiling tiles out and filled the dumpsters, we filled 10 dumpsters," said Day. "It was the Jefferson students that did all that."


Nearly 30,000 ceiling tiles in all. Day says the volunteers will go through 600 gallons of paints and dozens of buckets of joint compound treatment in the next nine days.


"There's a lot to do," says Lexie Lundquist, a freshman-to-be at Auburn High School. "All the work is going to this school and that's really good."

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