Building Dreams Together: GAF Unveils Revitalized Shafter Learning Center

By Arlene Marks 04-29-2022
QUICK SHARE
Tag Icon

It's never good to run out of room. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened to the Shafter Learning Center in Shafter, CA, one of the many communities across the country that GAF calls home.

That's when the local community, Project for Public Spaces (PPS), and GAF partnered with the Shafter Learning Center to design and build the Shafter Learning Center expansion. The additional space will ensure that the Library & Learning Center is able to meet the community's needs today and into the future.

In March, we celebrated the Shafter Learning Center Expansion with a ribbon cutting ceremony, officially welcoming the Shafter community into the new space.

Dedication to Education

The Shafter Learning Center opened in 2014 as a space designed to "open up opportunities for families and students of all ages and ability levels…[fitting] squarely within the City of Shafter's educational philosophy, which values: Student Achievement, Self-Reliance, Efficiency, Competition, and Fairness," according to the Shafter Education Partnership's website. By 2020, the Center was hosting over 1,500 students every month, between classes, tutoring, and open study, and it was running out of room.

At the same time, GAF was looking for a way to engage the Shafter Community in our Community Matters initiative, which is focused on helping to build resilient communities. A key element of resilient communities is the next generation, and we can help equip them for success by bringing people together in shared spaces that enhance economic and social health.

Perseverance & Team Effort

More than 50 GAF employees worked alongside community members to understand the needs of the Learning Center and how, together, we could address those needs. Shafter team members led workshops in collaboration with community members and held conversations with community leaders which led to several ideas that would benefit the community. These included flexible classroom and meeting spaces, open outdoor areas, and a children's reading room.

Shafter Mayor Cathy Prout shared her appreciation for the collaboration on this project: "In 2019, GAF began talking to their employees and people around town about a gift for Shafter. They listened to us and decided they wanted to provide more space for the Library and Learning Center."

Through their combined efforts, GAF and PPS developed a plan for the space that would allow the Shafter community to come together and reconnect despite the challenges of the global pandemic.

When the planning was complete, GAF employees helped put the plan into action. No one knew just what the journey would look like. "I don't think any of us expected the next couple of years to be as difficult as they have been," said Prout. "No one expected a pandemic. No one expected construction costs to go up like they did. But through it all, GAF has stayed committed and been a true friend to Shafter."

Nevertheless, the team persevered. Through a series of volunteer days, many of which were part of GAF's paid Volunteer Time Off program, employees donated time for painting, planting, and other beautification efforts. The team got creative with resources donated to the space by using shipping containers as classrooms, hiring a local artist to paint murals, and using our pavement coating products in a decorative and colorful way. In a special effort to finish the space, our coatings team traveled from various locations to volunteer and apply the pavement coating themselves.

Shafter

The center uses surrounding outdoor spaces as an expanded learning hub, providing more room for classes, gathering, and studying indoors and out. Another exciting addition is a children's reading room for families to safely learn and connect.

Shafter

Prout appreciated GAF's commitment to the project. "They have delivered on their promise with an expansion to our library and a new classroom. They transformed this outdoor space into something beautiful and useful. They brought us these wonderful murals. We are thankful to GAF for this gift and thankful to have GAF as a member of our community."

Just One Step

The Shafter Learning Center is just one of many projects GAF is involved with as part of the Community Matters initiative. Community Matters focuses on making a positive difference as neighbors and partners by leveraging expertise, resources and products to help build resilient communities. We believe that resilience is the foundation on which we will build thriving, sustainable communities of the future.

We're proud to be a part of the Shafter community and are excited to continue to see the Shafter Learning Center grow and evolve in this space for years to come. To learn more about GAF's commitment to the communities where we live and work, visit gaf.com/communitymatters.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Arlene Marks has been a part of the GAF community for 15 years. In her current position as Corporate Community Engagement Manager she develops and implements community programs in support of GAF's community impact initiative.
Arlene holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.
Don't miss another GAF RoofViews post!
LATEST UPDATES
For many homeowners, protecting their home from roof to foundation is a top priority, especially if they live in storm prone areas. Customers in need of a new roof are making an investment that will impact their home and their families. As a roofing contractor, your customers are trusting you to help them make the best choice. As a contractor in a hail region, you want to consistently help your customers choose the shingle that addresses ALL their personal concerns, including impact, wind and algae.
A shingle starter strip is an important part of a residential roofing system. It plays a critical role in reducing the risk of shingle blow-off along the eaves and rakes of the roof. It provides a base under the shingle at the eaves, helping the roof shed water efficiently. As its name implies, every asphalt shingle roof will start with this shingle.
Growing up in the northeast, tornadoes were these random events that occurred in the movies, and far off places like Kansas. But according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), roughly 1,200 tornadoes occur in the US each year! AND they occur in all 50 states, but primarily in the lower 48 and east of the Rocky Mountains. Given that tornadoes kill more people per year in the U.S. than hurricanes and earthquakes combined, ASCE's Structural Engineering Institute revised the ASCE 7 Standard for Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures in hopes that it will be adopted into the 2024 International Building Code.
If you're a homeowner researching new roofing options, you may be seeing a lot of information on architectural shingles as a popular choice for roof replacements. So, what are architectural shingles? Let's dive in to learn all about architectural shingles and why they are growing in popularity.
You work hard to keep that roof over your head. That's why it's important to maintain your home's longevity. Paying attention to the seasonal weather changes that affect your home will save you a significant amount of time and money. And, while you may initially think of the harshest of conditions mother nature throws our way (i.e. hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, etc.), it takes far less to cause deterioration of a home's structure over time. Luckily, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Listed below are damaging weather conditions that arise year-round, and simple ways you (or a service professional) can protect your home.
Enjoying the beauty of winter storms—but worried about the damage it can do to your roof? By taking a few steps before and after a storm, you can protect your home and roof from icy flurries and enjoy a cozy space inside.
This blog contains information created by a variety of sources, including internal and third party writers. The opinions and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of GAF. The content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute financial, accounting, tax or legal advice. GAF does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the information. In no event shall GAF be held responsible or liable for errors or omissions in the content or for the results, damages or losses caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the content.

Interested in sharing or republishing our content? We kindly ask you to adhere to our guidelines.