Oracle Team USA sprucing up primary school
Members of Oracle Team USA have been spending time on dry land to help renovate a building for East End Primary School.
Some ten members of the team, including two sailors, reached out to the Ministry of Education to volunteer their services and were directed to the St George's school.
The dilapidated building, donated to the school by the ministry, is to be used to house the music department and possibly provide space for arts students.
The Royal Gazette paid a visit to the site where the men were at work.
Peter Rusch, communications director for Oracle Team USA, told us: “We have been here all morning and will be here for the day. Through the America's Cup Endeavour programme we are in touch with the Ministry of Education and we found out that quite a few of the schools do these types of projects in the run-up to the new term and are always looking for some help. We said we would like to help and they suggested this project.
“Because of the wind, there's been no sailing so there were a few extra people around to come and help out. Our guys have a really high work rate. When they do it they get a lot accomplished.
“We have done most of the scraping of the walls and painting inside. We have scraped bag-fulls of paint off the roof, which still needs some sanding, some primer and some paint.
“We will come and finish that off tomorrow. They will still need to do a little bit of work with the electrics but this is a good start for them.
“Our team has been here for over a year now and we feel like we are part of Bermuda, and so it is important for us to be a part of the community. Bermuda has been great to us. The welcome we have had here has been unbelievable, so we were very happy to help. Sailors Cooper Dressler and Kinley Fowler were among the crew as well as members of the shore crew, admin staff and even an accountant.
Kinley Fowler, Oracle Team USA trimmer told us: “It is really important to try and help out in the community, especially when it comes to schools and education — we have good resources and manpower so we try and use it.
“We have done community outreach in the past — Bermuda is a small island and so I think things like this have a really big impact for such a small population.”
Principal Julie Foggo was delighted and grateful for the help. She said: “We were given the house last year I was thinking what could we possibly do. We had lots of dialogue with the staff and in the end I thought it would be great to put the music and possibly the art department over there. Currently they share the same room so we are strapped for space in terms of musical instruments.
“The building was really in a state of disrepair. I was going to the ministry for help but in the mean time Oracle Team USA contacted to them, to say they wanted to do a community project. All students will be exposed to it, from P1 to P6, and its all coming together quite nicely.”