FRUITLAND — After seeing thousands of students come and go through its halls in the years leading up to her hire in 2019, Principal Marci Haro noticed that Fruitland High School’s interior could use some tender loving care. According to her, the COVID-19 pandemic gave her staff the chance to do just that.

Haro gave the newspaper a tour of the freshlly-renovated facility on Friday. During that tour, she told the newspaper the facility was more than a decade overdue for a new coat of paint.

“We figured at least 15 to 20 years that it [hadn’t] been painted inside,” said Haro. “Mr. [Russ] Wright, our athletic director, spearheaded the project …”

Students returned this school year to see a new coat of paint throughout the school. New bulletin boards were added especially near art classrooms, trophy cases were relocated to maximize space, and even senior class group photos were rearranged.

“They’re now in an order, not just a menagerie,” said Haro.

The hallway moldings were replaced as part of the refresh, thanks to a material donation sourced by Spanish teacher Christine Mendoza.

Haro was especially proud of the repainted gymnasium. A source of community pride for Haro, the facility was a focal point for her staff’s efforts.

“The gym looks amazing now,” Haro said. “When our fans come and our student athletes are working hard, we can have a nice look for them because if you look sharp you hard and you’re successful.”

Throughout the renovation process, Haro said her staff was careful which paint colors were used to help promote a calming learning environment.

“We stay away from color palettes that are ‘bright’ colors and jewel tones; We always try to keep colors that are moderate and calming and pleasant to the eye, so when you walk in it’s warm, it’s welcoming to families and community members and our students.”

According to Merriam-Webster, jewel tones are “any of various colors (such as amethyst, emerald, and ruby) that resemble those of gemstones.”

Haro said her administrative team has read a lot into that topic, as part of picking the right color palette. However, she said, her students don’t cause a lot of trouble to begin with.

“Our students are really great,” said Haro. “We have really incredible students.”

As Haro stated, this effort is all for her Grizzlies.

“We want them to come to a nice learning place and a nice learning atmosphere and be successful. If you have a nice place to come, you feel more welcome to come to school. We want every kid here and we want everyone to be successful.”

Other interior renovations in the works include painting the Fruitland ‘F’ in the freshman foyer area, according to Haro.

“Next, we’re working on the bathrooms to freshen those,” she added.

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