New paint job, name for MHAFB school

MOUNTAIN HOME -- The elementary school on Mountain Home Air Force Base is getting a new look for the new school year.

"It's been many years since the building has been painted," said school liaison officer Mike Jewel.

The school district was able to secure some money to paint the outside, but they didn't have enough to paint the inside. Operation Homefront and the Home Depot gave about $17,000 in donations for paint and supplies to cover the inside of the school.

Jewell and others asked around the base for volunteers, and got many more than they expected.

"We have 150 volunteers from different squadrons on the base," Jewell said.

"It's a great event," said Master Sergeant Melvin Fouke, who helped organize supplies and volunteers. "It's all about getting everybody together and doing a good thing and having a good time, not so much the regimented, normal military type of stuff, it's just everybody enjoying themselves and getting it done."

The painting is just one of the changes for the school.

"We're currently in the process of renaming the school," said Principal Phil McCluskey. "We used to be Base Primary, now we're going to be called Stephensen Elementary for a serviceman that was killed that was from the area."

McCluskey said this is just part of an effort to make their unique student body feel at home.

"It's a new beginning for the kids each and every year, and some of them, this is the first time that they've seen the place," he said. "So to come to an area like Mountain Home, it's not as lush and green as maybe some other places that they've been, so anything that we can do to make them comfortable, we would definitely like to."

In addition to donations from Operation Home Front and Home Depot, they also received donations from Walmart, Albertsons, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Smoky Mountain Pizza, Subway, and Popeye's.


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