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School improvement leads to Eagle Scout Award

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The Crook family are all smiles now that the last stone has been laid for Joshua’s Eagle Scout Project.

Glenview Elementary now has a new and improved courtyard thanks to the efforts of Joshua Crook, of Boy Scout Troop 35.

As an Eagle Scout project, the Ruston High School junior directed 11 scouts and adult leaders in the re-construction of an existing gazebo and replacing a hazardous gravel pathway with brick.

Glenview Elementary’s courtyard was intended for relaxation and education purposes, but has weathered beyond that use.

The gravel pathways were hard to walk on and posed a hazard while mowing the grassy areas near both the pathway and classroom windows. The gravel was so deep that students tripped or twisted ankles while trying to use the area.

Crook proposed that by narrowing the path and using brick, both safety hazards would be solved.

Crook had many literal obstacles to overcome while completing his proposed project. The five truckloads of gravel needed to be hauled out and the brick hauled in with no direct access from the parking lot. Countless wheelbarrows full of gravel, brick and other supplies found their way to the courtyard through the gym.

Another obstacle was how to brace the sagging pavilions. One was beyond repair and had to be demolished, but with the correct hardware, Crook was able to make the second pavilion was safe to sit under once again.

Principal Lisa Mangum commented on the work done in the courtyard, saying it was “professional as if we hired out. He did an unbelievable amount of work.”

She also mentioned several times the August heat that Crook endured.

In a ceremony held in the courtyard Jan. 17. Principal Mangum laid the final triangular marble stone.

It was specially carved by Crook with the letter G. Crook said of the project, “I think for our church, my family and for me it was very unifying to have one common goal.”

He also stated that it was very hard but was fun because it was service and not a job.

“It was way worth it!” he said.

Donations from local businesses made the project possible. Brick was donated by Lowes and Ruston Brick. The sod was donated Twin Oaks and also by Glenview Elementary. Walmart donated some paving stones. Century Ready-Mix donated the sand, and J&J Stone in Monroe donated a piece of marble.

Twenty-five different people over a nine-month period put in a total of 121 hours.

Crook also did a pancake breakfast fundraiser to raise the money that was used to buy parts to repair the gazebo that was falling down.

With the project completed and approved, Crook will become the recipient of the scouting’s highest rank of Eagle at an upcoming court of honor at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ruston.

The Ruston congregation sponsors Troop 35, which is part of the Thunderbird District of the Louisiana Purchase Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

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