The Patrick Henry Post

Special Edition: Summer Improvements

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This summer, Patrick Henry was really feeling the love from SLPS Buildings and Grounds. We had some incredible projects take place to improve the safety and aesthetics of our gorgeous, historical building. In addition to the deep cleaning that happens every summer, we also had extra work to improve Patrick Henry. Take a look below for some of the amazing projects that were started and completed in just a few weeks over the summer!

Project #1: Floor Replacement

Did you know that the hardwood floors at Patrick Henry are ORIGINAL to this beautiful building? That means that these floors are just as old as the school is - 116 years old! Hardwood floors were built to last forever, and most of the wood floors in Patrick Henry remain in excellent condition. However, we had some water damage to a portion of the floors just outside of the office that required a replacement. The project took two full weeks of removing the rotting wood, sanding down the floors and allowing what was underneath to dry, replacing the new wood, and staining it to match the current floors. We had two teams of repairmen working on this project, and it looks incredible!

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Project #2: The Gym

The gym has been long overdue for a fresh coat of paint to brighten the space up and make it feel more open and much cleaner. Though we were not on the original painting schedule for the painting team, Buildings & Grounds generously agreed to send the crew over to Patrick Henry, and they managed to make this gym look brand new in the course of two days! The gym is now a blank canvas for Mrs. Ralphs to create the environment she wants to create for her students as they embark on another great year of physical education. We were also thrilled to remove our pallets of materials from the back of the gym, creating more space for better games and a safer environment for our students. Thank you to both our painting team and our movers!

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Project #3: The Teachers' Lounge

This summer, Dr. Rogers renovated the Data Room and transformed it into the Teachers' Lounge. Previously, the Teachers' Lounge was on the second floor in a very small room that was not conducive to comfort, cleanliness, or collegiality. The new and improved Teachers' Lounge now boasts of a living area with comfortable couches, a work station with up to date computers, a library for teacher resource books, a clean food prep area with a new refrigerator and vending machine (coming soon!), and a real dining area for teachers to come together and eat with their colleagues in a beautiful and clean space. It is hard to put into words how exhausting and stressful a teacher's workday can be. There are so many demands on your body and brain, and it can really wear our staff out if they do not have a proper break room that is designed for them. Too often, they are so busy taking care of others that they forget to take care of themselves, so this space is designed to be a true retreat for all of our staff to feel a little pampered before they carry on with the most noble art of teaching. A big shoutout goes to our summer custodial team, who worked non-stop from 7:30am until 4:00pm to clear this space of trash and old teaching materials from decades before. And a final shoutout to Dr. Rogers' husband, Mr. Rob Curtis, who built furniture for the Patrick Henry team like it was his job! It was a true labor of love!

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Project #4: The Garden

Our garden is famous around St. Louis and even throughout Missouri! But our garden beds needed a lot of love this summer. Farmer Jim came back to St. Louis to help repair the broken boards, along with Dr. Rogers' husband, Mr. Rob! Farmer Jim and Mr. Rob used saws, hammers, nails, screwdrivers, shovels, and sledgehammers to get these beds into better shape. We are definitely not done yet, but the progress has made this a safer and more beautiful space for our students to use every single day for the fall harvest. We are so thankful to Farmer Jim and Mr. Rob for their time and sweat that brought about such a positive and long-lasting change!


We also were lucky enough to have a community partner - BJC - complete the garden mural this summer. It is not only a beautiful piece of artwork that was hand painted and drawn freehand by a local artist, but it is also interactive! There is a "seek and find" game as well as a chalkboard portion for students to draw on as they are inspired by the garden. Thank you to our muralists and to our incredibly strong partner in BJC, Healthy Communities Healthy Schools, and SLPS!

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Final Mural

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Projects Still in Progress

We have a number of ongoing projects that will continue throughout the 2022-2023 school year. Check back on the Patrick Henry Post for frequent updates to these spaces!


  • Hallway Literacy Spaces: This year we are dismantling our cold, unwelcoming library room to devise a less traditional reading program. Patrick Henry has had literacy spaces in the past, and this year, we are expanding! Our team of volunteers from a local church came to help us move all of our shelving and all of the books out of the library space and into the hallways and Reading Room to create comfortable, beautiful spaces for our students to curl up with a great book!
  • Professional Development Workspace: Our staff does not have a permanent meeting place anywhere within our beautiful building - how is that possible?? This year we will renovate the former library into a PD Workspace that is complete with a teacher library of resources, collaborative spaces, and comfortable furniture for the staff to utilize during our staff meetings and professional development sessions.
  • Office Makeover: Our office needs a pick-me-up! It is time to refresh the paint, the floors, the furniture, the accent pieces, and the atmosphere. Watch us transform and restore this space into what it was intended to look like when this beautiful building was established 116 years ago!