Inmates paint Shepherd Hill classrooms

The Webster Patriot
By Steev Riccardo

DUDLEY – Shepherd Hill Regional High School has existed since 1973 and if you walked through the halls and the classrooms, you would never know it. The building is in excellent condition, considering it is almost forty years old.

A lot of the credit for the building’s condition goes to the maintenance and janitorial staff, but for the second year in a row Worcester Sheriff Lew Evangelidis brought his Inmate Work Program to the school to paint classrooms, and that has also helped make a difference.

“The time, energy, and effort from a number of people, primarily the janitorial staff, has helped the building hold up really well,” said
Assistant Principal Andy Leach, “and now we have the luxury of reaching out to this community service that the sheriff offers to help out with the classrooms.

“The sheriff had an assembly here at the school back a few months ago and we requested to have the community service program come back like they did last year to paint classrooms. It had worked out really well, it saves the janitorial staff time so they can focus on the building.”

The school staff appreciates it and, according to Leach, the kids are thrilled to see their classrooms painted in maroon and gold, the schools colors. “When they see the school colors, they light up.”

The school will save about a quarter of its normal costs by using the Inmate Work Program.

Besides the obvious benefits that the program offers municipalities and nonprofits, the inmates also benefit. It gives them the opportunity to feel a sense of accomplishment in helping out the community rather than sit in a jail cell all day. It’s a win-win all the way around.