CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Volunteers like Chris Lopez, right, and Reinier Kraan-Pilor worked Friday on the interior of the Pearl City High School bandroom.
Local firms work in harmony for band
Pearl City High gains from a parent's effort to aid a renovation
Pearl City High School parent Kirk Bailey found out something interesting while calling around town for donations to renovate the school's band building.
The big corporate entities he could usually count on had much of their goodwill monies heading towards relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina victims. So instead, Bailey, a 25-year veteran contractor for Maryl Pacific Construction, decided to ask local businesses and companies for supplies.
The result: About 80 gallons of fresh paint and all the replacement light fixtures, carpet, and acoustical tiles he needed to give the Pearl City High School bandroom a much needed face lift.
"Usually we would go to Home Depot or Lowe's but because of Katrina, corporate offices captured all the extra money and redistributed it already," Bailey said. "But the community response has been phenomenal. ... Everything we need has been donated.
"I'd say we saved the state about $50,000 in repairs."
Bailey said about 15 local companies donated supplies, including Maryl Pacific, Sherwin-Williams, Spectra-Tone, ICI, Hardware Hawaii Ace, and City Mill. The labor came by way of parents, students and faculty members and even some volunteers from the Pearl Harbor Naval Magazine, who have worked all week to get renovations done by the time students return to campus from an October break on Tuesday.
"This is unreal. ... I've never seen this kind of aggressiveness to get things done," said Chris Lopez, one of the high school's three band directors and a 1992 Pearl City graduate. "I can't even paint my own bathroom.
"While I was painting this I thought it was hell, but at the end of the day when you're exhausted, you think, 'This was so worth it.'"
Bailey said the idea to get the bandroom renovated came after hearing that the state was short of funds to finish leveling off the school's football field, which is slightly higher on both ends just past the goal posts.
Bailey sent out letters to find companies who could finish off the job when he decided that the bandroom, which had not seen a fresh coat of paint in about 18 years, was a more immediate concern.
"Basically we saw a need and now we're filling the need," he said. "We want to instill some pride in the students, show that they can make a difference."
Some students already know, especially members of the band who spent most of their free time during the break cleaning and prepping and painting when they could have been at the beach. About 50 band members spent all day Tuesday washing walls to prep them for a new coat of paint and worked late into the night to get the job done on time.
"After you're done, you feel pretty good," said Reinier Kraan-Pilor, Bailey's son, who is also a junior and snare drum captain in the band. "You have a sense of accomplishment."
Besides the "baked bean" red and brown used to paint the bandroom, companies donated enough Pearl City Chargers purple to paint the bleachers at the football field. Bailey said if anything, their bandroom should be a symbol of what the private sector can do if parents who have the right connections "step up to the plate" for their schools and their children.
"I'm talking about laborers and contractors and architects. ... You know there's some who are parents at every school," he said. "They have the contacts and know who to talk to.
"The kids are willing to work, and businesses have come forward. ... We can do something instead of just complaining."