In The News

From the September 22, 2004 Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

School recycles old roof: Discarded slate pieces get decorative makeover for sale

Meaghan M. McDermott, Staff writer

(September 22, 2004) — IRONDEQUOIT — Last year, they sold the windows. This year, they’re selling the roof.

In keeping with the tradition of recycling pieces taken from West Irondequoit schools during the district’s recent $56.8 million expansion and renovation projects, the West Irondequoit Foundation is selling engraved pieces of slate taken from the roof of Dake Junior High School. The building’s 75-year-old slate roof was replaced during the renovations, and about 250 pieces of the old roof were saved.

Slate signs made with pieces salvaged from Dake Junior High School are now available from the West Irondequoit Foundation. The signs can be engraved with “Welcome” or “Welcome Friends” and come in five different designs that represent a facet of Irondequoit. They sell for $50 each.

Foundation members will be selling slates during upcoming Open Houses at 7 p.m. Sept. 29 at Irondequoit High School, 260 Cooper Road, and at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at Dake Junior High School, 350 Cooper Road.

Information on buying slates also is available by phone from Kitty White at (585) 467-5615 or online at

The slate pieces are being engraved by an Irondequoit company, Madaket Bay Engraving, and offer five designs: the cupola from Dake Junior High School, which is the district’s symbol; an eagle, the district’s mascot; pine trees; a lighthouse; and a house.

Kitty White, a member of the West Irondequoit Foundation board of directors, said the designs were selected because each represents a facet of Irondequoit.

White said slates will be engraved with either a “Welcome” greeting or a “Welcome Friends” greeting. Or, she said, the slates can be ordered blank and personalized at a later time. The reverse of each slate will be engraved with “Dake Junior High School” and “1931,” for the year the school was built. Each slate costs $50.

Since it was founded in 1987, the West Irondequoit Foundation has raised and given the district’s schools and teachers more than $270,000 for projects, programs and materials that fall outside the school district’s regular budget, said White.

Supported projects include paying for additional teacher training and class materials, computers, anatomical models, portable stages, library equipment and more.

The slate project comes on the heels of the Windows Project, which last year enlisted local and national artists to create artwork from 70 oak windows removed from Irondequoit High School. The windows were auctioned and raised more than $70,000 for the foundation’s programs, said Carol Crumlish, district spokeswoman.

But that’s not all the district has done to incorporate pieces of its past into its future.

When the district’s old elementary schools were razed, oak door moldings were saved by Irondequoit High School building trades classes and turned into benches, which were placed in the entryways of the new schools.

Also, parts of the junior high and high school bleachers were salvaged, and the building trades classes used the pieces to build Adirondack chairs, which were sold this summer.

“We’re running out of things to sell,” joked Crumlish.

White said the foundation received its first 56 completed slates this week and will be selling them at school functions and community events.

“Rather than throwing them away, this is a great way to recycle,” she said. “And it touches so many people. Anyone who went to Irondequoit schools probably went to Dake at some point.”

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