PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — WAVY-TV 10 is giving the Ida Barbour Early Learning Center in Portsmouth a makeover for parent company Nexstar’s Founder’s Day of Caring.
Each year, 200 of Nexstar’s stations give back to their community through various acts of kindness. This year WAVY decided to help Ida Barbour restore their building to its original glory.
The executive director of Ida Barbour said these upgrades were much needed.
“You want your building to look presentable. You want the appearance of it to reflect who you are. If people drive by, they want to take a second look and say ‘yeah that’s Ida Barbour.’ You don’t want them to drive by and say, ‘oh, look at that.’ Just trying to bring all that back and bring it up to where it was,” said Margaret Buxton, the executive director of Ida Barbour Learning Center.
A volunteer crew from the Virginia Air National Guard came out Friday with heavy machinery, drills and shovels to rip the old playground out and make room for the new age-appropriate playground.
“This is a large undertaking. It’s not a backyard playset. We were very happy to reach out to WAVY and ask if they need our expertise and tools and knowledge because this is heavy-duty,” said Suzette Hill-Ferraz of the 203rd RED HORSE Squadron.
Paramount Builders also came out to install hand-built white trim around the exterior. Later in the week, they will install a new gutter system with a downspout that will help with directing runoff.
“We are struggling a little bit now, but we have so much community support,” Buxton said. “We have so much help. This past year and last few months and reaching out with WAVY have just uplifted us so much. We know we are on the right track and we will bring Ida Barbour back.”
Hill-Ferraz said for the crews working, this is the least they could do for their community.
“This is a great community project for all the organizations to take part and do something really good,” she said.
WAVY will return to Ida Barbour to tighten up the loose ends on June 19.