Elm, several other local businesses, step up to create Recharge Room for teachers and staff at Westfield High

On Thursday, October 5, teachers and staff at Westfield High School were treated to the surprise grand opening of their very own Recharge Room. We worked with several local businesses and pooled resources, time and talent to put together a comfortable, calming space for the school employees to relax and recharge during their day. 

“We want the schools to know that their community supports them and all the important work they do,” said Keith Saltmarsh.

Elm Electrical coordinated the efforts for creating the concept of the room with school administration and a couple of teachers. 

“We are so excited to have had Elm Electrical choose our school for this project! Keith and Holly came to us last spring to see if we had an available room,” said Chuck Jendrysik, Principal of Westfield High School. When discussing what the teachers wanted, their wish list included soft lighting, comfortable seating, a workspace, maybe a coffee station and a speaker or sound machine. “I am so happy they will have this space to retreat to during the day.”  

A classroom once full of unused furniture, old textbooks and supplies has been reimagined. Marie Crane-Yvon of Crane Yvon Interiors, helped with the design of the new room. Brad Miller was the PM on the project and he and Fred Fruwirth got to work demoing existing cabinets and dry erase boards. They replaced and removed ceiling tiles, painted the ceiling grid, installed new carpet tiles and a vinyl base, framed and dry walled wing walls, patched, primed and painted the walls. Fred installed cabinets donated by Competitive Kitchen and the countertop that was gifted by New England Custom Countertops to create the coffee bar. Rob Parent installed new, softer dimmable lighting and switches.

This once unused, cold, cluttered classroom evolved into a cozy space with comfortable seating, as well as a work/eating area with a beautiful mural of Tekoa Mountain created by artist Jessica Young. Kendra Kearing of Home Décor cleaned up and repainted the rusty metal shelving. Coffee was donated by Dunkin and the Sardinha family. Aaron’s Furniture hooked us up with comfy, reclining leather furniture. Home Depot supplied us with a refrigerator as well as a bar top and JAN Woodworks graciously did the installation. Walmart helped us out with some fans for the room. And we couldn’t have completed the room without the generosity of Firtion Adams, Marisol Franco, KC Law and Kevin Queenin.

“Just about everyone said yes to helping with the project, which says a lot about this community,” said Holly Lurgio, Community Outreach for Elm Electrical. 

WHS staff attended their monthly faculty meeting, which concluded with the introduction to the Recharge Room concept and its donors. After the meeting, teachers got to see the completed room for the first time – as well as enter into a drawing to win items donated by North Elm Butcher Block, G.I.L.T.E Phyl’s Bakery and Ray’s Family Farm. They were absolutely blown away with the concept, the craftsmanship and the idea that their community is so supportive of them.  The WHS staff spent lots of time exploring the room, trying out the reclining furniture, sampling the snacks and checking out the coffee selection. They left feeling appreciated and appreciative.

When doing business in Westfield, keep in mind the generous folks who helped make this project come to life. This is our second Recharge Room, and we hope that other Westfield businesses will continue to step up and pay it forward.