The Brainerd High School community is hard at work this week giving the school a major facelift. The Brainerd Together Community Remodel is working to repaint the school, replace lockers and make major upgrades to the gym and library.

But students volunteering at the school say the changes are more than paint deep.

"I think that the way something looks gives a lot of perspective on who people are and how they represent themselves,” BHS senior Ice-L’end Bradley said. “And I think that looks good on the kids."

The project is being funded by donations through GoFundMe and community business partners. All of the work is being done by the community as well. Organizer and BHS community specialist Eric McKenzie says keeping the project community-centered is key.

"We want to build a relationship, not only with the community but with the parents,” he said.
“It allows the community, the parents to come in, engage with the students. And also mend the gap between what's happening on the outside and actually become a part of what's happening on the inside."

McKenzie also says the work is long overdue – the school hasn’t had major upgrades since it was built.

"The school hasn't had a facelift in almost 60 years. 1960 as you can see, when the school was built,” McKenzie said. “So it's been a pleasure to engage the community and allow them to come in and change the trajectory of the school and what it looks like on the inside."

About 75 volunteers will be at the school working every day this week, leading up to Brainerd’s alumni weekend. Organizers plan to unveil the renovations then.

When students finally get to see the final results this fall, Bradley thinks they’ll be just as happy to see a beautiful Brainerd as she is.  

"To see that we have new lockers and new paint, I think that they'll be excited about that,” she said.