Christopher Ringheanu, a sophomore at Harlingen High School South spent an entire weekend painting, refurbishing, and reorganizing the teacher lounge at his campus.
This renovation was a service project; the last step to earn his Eagle Scout rank.
“The Eagle rank is the highest rank that a boy scout can have,” Ringheanu said. “You have to advance through ranks throughout your years of scouting. Before the age of 18, you complete a community service project whether that be at a school, church, or any establishment that you can do a free job for and will benefit the community somehow.”
Ringheanu had the idea of completing his project at Harlingen High School South, but he wasn’t sure exactly what area he wanted to focus on.
“I looked around and thought about where I wanted to complete my project,” Ringheanu said. “Like the front of the school, or the courtyard on the side, and then I looked inside that room, the lounge. If I am being honest, it wasn’t in a great state. I thought that it would be substantial enough to take on. It was a lot of work, but I saw the most room for improvement there.”
The project took a year of planning and preparing, but with some assistance from his troop, his family, and friends they were able to complete the renovation project in a matter of days.
“It was supposed to happen last summer, but it actually got postponed because of COVID protocols,” Ringheanu said. “Eventually I got the project approved for January. My brother, my mom, and I went every single day of last week to work for just a few hours and do a little preparation. A few scouts helped throughout the week, but the main hours were Friday evening and then Saturday the entire day. On Sunday, just my family and I went to touch up some things.”
The transformation of the teacher lounge consisted of three main components.
“First of all, we repainted all the walls. We stripped a lot of wood trimming off of them and we repainted them,” Ringheanu said. “Also, there was a kitchen area and a large desk that we basically remodeled. We repainted the structure of it, and put new handles, new hinges, and things like that. Third, we reorganized. We bought some new lamps and other small decorations and fixed the billboard. We just wanted teachers to feel more comfortable when they go in there.”
Most of the money used for this project was donated by sponsors.
“I had to write a proposal and get that approved to buy all the materials,” Ringheanu said. “Apart from getting a proposal approved, I submitted a form that allowed me to accept donations from local residents. So, family friends and work friends of my parents, I asked them. I wrote a few letters and I emailed. Whoever was willing to donate any amount was very much appreciated.”
He credited all those who helped with the renovation of the teacher lounge for the success of the project.
“This was definitely not a one-man project,” Ringheanu said. “I just want to thank everyone in the troop, my family, and all the sponsors who donated. They definitely all made this possible.”
Ringheanu has been part of the Boy Scouts since fifth-grade.
“It’s been a great experience. It teaches you a lot of things, a lot of leadership,” he said.