Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Parents painted a mural on the front of Molalla River Middle School to spread sense of pride

The building that houses Molalla River Middle School has been the center of conversations and criticism for the last several years as it has neared, or perhaps reached, the end of its useful life. Two bond measures to replace the facility have failed in recent years. But one local family refuses to let any of this shake their Wolverine pride.

By day, Jake and Lindsay Taylor build circuit boards at their jobs; but by night, along with their middle-school boys Gavyn and Cameron, they have been working hours upon hours to update the middle school's façade. The family of artists, who also runs a hobby business called JL Rustic Design, white-washed the brick on the front-center of the building, repainted trim and carefully painted the school's name and a mural.

PMG PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - With white-washing finished, Jake Taylor begins painting the words 'Molalla River Middle School' on the building.

Jake also created a large school-spirit sign to go in the entryway of the building, and the project follows work Jake did earlier in the year, when he completed murals in the locker rooms.

"I hope that when kids come here, they take a little bit more pride in their school and where they're from," Jake said, "(knowing) that there are parents out there, a community that backs them up and cares for them."

COURTESY PHOTO: PAMELA THOMAS - Pictured is one of the murals Jake painted in the locker rooms earlier in the year.

Fortunately, the Taylors haven't entirely gone at it alone. They've received funds, helping hands and tons of support along the way. For instance, the school board voted unanimously in favor of allowing them to do the project. Jake said Board Member Linda Eskridge even gave him a hug.

The Taylors also said they've received encouragement and support from Superintendent Tony Mann, Principal Randy Dalton, Facilities Supervisor Tony Tiano and English Language Arts teacher Pamela Thomas. Mitch Magenheimer donated the scissor lift for them to use, Adam Salvetti is leading efforts to improve the landscaping, their employer donated some funds toward the project, and the list goes on.

"It shows what we can do when come together," Lindsay said.

And Jake and Lindsay believe the community can do even more if its citizens work together. They hope their efforts will inspire and spread throughout Molalla.

"I think if we all set aside our differences and came together, we'd be unstoppable," Jake said. "There's a lot of projects like this that could go on in town."

COURTESY PHOTO: LINDSAY TAYLOR - Jake and Lindsay Taylor spent hours painting the front of Molalla River Middle School to help spread a sense of school and community pride, finishing over the weekend of Aug. 24-25.

But for now, Molalla River Middle School students can enjoy their school's updated look, and it seems the inspiration is already beginning to spread.

"[Jake] and his wife are such an inspiration," Dalton said. "We are forever grateful of their work and look forward to working together on more projects."

Kristen Wohlers
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