Friday, April 10, 2020
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20191028 BLGrayCheckWhen students at B.L. Gray Junior High School get back to school from their Thanksgiving break next month, a new roof over the campus patio courtesy of a local organization will be completed.

SPTSO, or Sharyland Parents, Teachers Students Organization presented a check of $10,000 to B.L. Gray Principal Ericka Julie Carranza Monday during the latest school board meeting for Sharyland Trustees.

The check, SPTSO board Vice President Gina Castillo said, will build two rooftops for the patio area outside of the campus cafeteria.

“It’s currently uncovered and that’s where kids hang out during lunch,” Castillo explained. “When it rains, there’s nothing shielding them from it or giving them shade from the hot sun. There’s a small area with a roof but not a lot of space is covered, so we’re covering the entire patio.”

SPTSO is an organization composed of teachers, parents and students who go out into the community seeking sponsors and donors to help raise funds for projects that are not part of the school’s budget.

Each middle school and most elementary schools in the district have their own SPTSO board dedicated to serving the campus, B.L Gray SPTSO board President Edna Ramon said.

“It’s our first donation of the school year and we will have more in the coming weeks to help the school have more technology equipment like Chromebooks for students,” Ramon said.

The $10,000 was raised via 25 local sponsors within the B.L. Gray area, donations from 30 families and the sale of hoodies for the campus, Roman said.

According to Principal Carranza, this is the largest donation the campus has received from SPTSO.

“It’s been in the works since the beginning of the school year when the new board came in and we discussed what projects to fund,” Carranza said. “We’ve discussed with previous SPTSO boards getting a shade awning since it gets really hot out there in the pavillion where kids congregate but don’t have shade. I never expected her to reach this donation goal within 10 weeks.”

The roofs will be constructed by the Katy-based Lutza Consulting and Construction Firm, which has an office in Palmview. Carranza praised SPTSO’s involvement in the project which consisted of getting the company to build the roofs at half price.

“They gave us a good rate because they are making it their yearly community project since it will benefit kids in the community,” Carranza explained, adding that construction will begin Nov. 25 and finish within five days.

SPTSO is currently planning the annual B.L. Gray Market Day scheduled for Friday, Nov. 15. Vendors will be invited to sell their items and proceeds will be used by SPTSO to purchase new technology equipment, Ramon said.

“Many of our donors have relatives or are B.L. Gray parents who understand and know what their kids need at school,” Ramon said. “We’re very thankful for their work in making the roofs project a success. I know this was a dream of Mrs. Carranza since she was named principal and now, with the help of the public, it’s happening.”