On Saturday, Sept. 29, students, community members and a representative of the Army National Guard attended the open house and ribbon-cutting for the Palermo School Garden/Utility Shed.

Army National Guard members performed their community service by building the shed over 10 days in June. Erskine students, and many members of the Palermo School community helped with painting and moving in throughout the rest of the summer. The building will be used by the Garden Club and School Club.

On hand at the ribbon-cutting was Staff Sgt. Jesse James, Army National Guard, 136th Company, 1st Platoon Engineer Squad Leader, who said, "The troop members enjoyed the project, learned a lot, and enjoyed the hospitality." Many Palermo community members stopped by, brought food, and cheered the Guard members on during the building project.

This year-long project came about through the efforts of Palermo students, teachers and staff, including Ms. Haywood, Anne Helm, Deb Langis and Kathy Sparrow, and through contributions from many businesses and individuals, including Mimi and Rich Roughgarden, Army National Guard, 133rd and 136th Engineer Battalions, Mr. Tyler, Mr. Cowing, Mr. Avery Glidden, G&E Roofing, The American Legion, Mr. Childs, Mr. Fowlie, Mr. Tessio, Mr. Rispoli, Hunt Brothers, Lakeview Lumber, Lapointe Lumber, McCormick Building Supply, Hammond Lumber, Palermo School Club, Graduating Class of 2012, Garden Club members and families, Erskine students, Liberty General Store, Tobey's, Hannaford, Liberty Tools, Hussey's General Store, Reny's, Marden's and many other community members. Special thanks go to Kari Brown and her son, Daniel, and Jill Rauch and her son, Reid, for the many hours they contributed to all aspects of the project.

The Garden Club has already been using the shed to put the flowerbeds down for the winter. "The shed has made our work easier and more enjoyable," said Kathy Sparrow, art teacher and Garden Club coordinator. One student exclaimed, "This is just like a garden shed you see on TV!"

"The School Club greatly appreciates the overwhelming generosity of all those who donated so much to make the dream of this wonderful utility shed happen," said Deb Langis, School Club president and school health aide. "We are so excited to have our fundraising materials, games and equipment in our new space."

The coordinators thanked everyone for their assistance, saying that the new shed will greatly enrich the programs and environment of Palermo School.