For the past two years, a group of guys who work at the Ingersoll-Rand plant near East 30th Street and Post Road have played
basketball on Monday nights.
Their host is George S. Buck School 94, right next door.
"If you walk across our back parking lot, you're in the playground of this school," Plant Manager John Schostek explained.
The plant produces the Von Duprin brand of door hardware, so it's not surprising that the guys took note of the fact that the doors to the school didn't close properly.
In 2008, Ingersoll-Rand Security Technologies, which has its headquarters in Carmel, celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Von Duprin brand. "We wanted to have a significant community outreach," Schostek said.
Schostek looked no farther than the public elementary school next door.
"Once we started playing basketball over there, it opened our eyes to what the school's about. We started doing more and more with them," he said.
The first order of business was to fix all 30 of the school's exterior doors. Ingersoll-Rand agreed to donate $35,000 worth of materials and $15,000 for engineering and labor.
The project, begun last spring, was completed over the summer, but Schostek said his employees wanted to find other ways to help the school. He asked Principal Jennifer Sweeney and her staff came up with a wish list.
On Oct. 4, 30 employees spent the day building a storage barn, landscaping, and creating an outdoor classroom around the school pond. They donated 200 man-hours and $3,000 in supplies.
Von Duprin also held a school uniform drive and came up with 120 pieces of clothing: the required slacks and shirts.
Schostek said his employees are looking forward to helping the kids.
"I hope this turns into kind of a long-term partnership," he said. "I think it will, based on the reaction from our employees."
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