This Virginia Beach special education classroom is getting a $100K makeover

The original classroom is set to be demolished and upgraded between July 15 and Aug. 15. (Southside Daily/courtesy of Virginia Beach City Public Schools)
The original classroom is set to be demolished and upgraded between July 15 and Aug. 15. (Southside Daily/courtesy of Virginia Beach City Public Schools)

VIRGINIA BEACH — A Pembroke Elementary School special needs classroom will be getting an estimated $100,000 makeover because of a partnership between the school district, First Atlantic Restoration’s Give First Foundation and the Home Depot.

The classroom set up, which supports students with disabilities, helps students master independent, daily living skills such as cooking and other household tasks, officials said in a news release.

Demolition is set to begin on July 15 with a scheduled completion on Aug. 15.

“Students are in here at least once a week for cooking, but we want to make it more than that,” said Pembroke Elementary School Principal Linda Hayes. “We want to make it more of a center where students are taught skills that will enhance daily living.”

The project got off the ground when a small group of school administrators and staff met in December to discuss possibilities, officials said.

Rachel Curry, the school’s new program compliance support teacher had heard of the foundation’s charitable projects and knew First Atlantic Restoration President David Collier, who didn’t hesitate to help when he heard of the project, officials said.

Students with various disabilities attend the school from across the city for special education programming.

Teachers have access to the classroom to conduct lessons on daily living skills in real-life context, officials said.

Once the updates are finished, the now partially-functioning kitchen which originally had outdated cabinets and stove will now resemble a fully-functional studio with rooms that are American with Disabilities Act compliant.

The kitchen will feature new cabinets, flooring, ceiling tiles, countertops, appliances and LED lights to make the space brighter.

In addition, the bedroom, living room and laundry areas will enable children to practice such skills as washing, folding, and storing clothes or making a bed.

First Atlantic Restoration’s Give First foundation, Home Depot and the school division’s offices of Maintenance and Facilities Services are collaborating by providing design expertise, volunteers, labor and materials, officials said.

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