Gulfport Seabees help spruce up Long Beach school

Gulfport Seabees help spruce up Long Beach school
They are dedicating their own time and talents to beautify an elementary school campus. (Photo source: WLOX)
They are dedicating their own time and talents to beautify an elementary school campus. (Photo source: WLOX)
With the first day of school about three weeks away, custodians are scrambling to get their buildings ready for students. One Long Beach school is getting some help from the military.
Some Gulfport Seabees have taken on a new mission this summer. They are dedicating their own time and talents to beautify an elementary school campus.
In the group, you can find an electrician, a builder and a counselor. This summer, they are brushing up on their painting skills.
Since mid-June, members of the Naval Construction Training Center have been painting the walls at Quarles Elementary School. They volunteer one day a week, even on weekends, sprucing up the campus.

"Something as military, we always focus on a mission, but when we come back, we like to give back to our community," said Seabee Lamar Smith.
The principal said it was easy recruiting the help of those Gulfport Seabees because NCTC adopted Quarles Elementary.

"They are phenomenal. They have been pleasant and joyful. We've cracked up. We've had a good time, and they are very dedicated to making this building look top-notch," said Principal Dr. Jan Hansen.
The NCTC Community Service Coordinator Saint Record says he enjoys helping out the local schools.
"It's a great feeling, because with the local schools, to be able to help the local schools and do as much as you can. We have the skills to do whatever they need here in the school," said Record.

The military men have answered the call for help from the school many times before, from setting up for school festivals to serving as hall monitors during testing week.
Their next project is to build a sidewalk, so wheelchair-bound students can have easy access to the playground. Their hard work will give the campus a brighter, cleaner, fresher face to welcome back students in August.

"It may seem small that we're just putting paint on a wall, but you can tell a huge difference when Dr. Hansen comes through and says, 'Oh my gosh. It's such a transformation.' We don't really notice a lot of it because we're just here to provide support," said Smith.

Next month, Quarles Elementary will hold a celebration to thank the Seabees who helped get the school ready. The NCTC has contributed more than 3,000 volunteer hours since last October.
"It basically sends a message out to the community and other people that we just don't fight missions, we're here to support the community as well. We're here for the long haul. We're here to support you and your children," said Smith.

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved