Scout gives Brentwood school a modern, portable store

| Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The old white box was cracking and had become unsteady and hard to move from room to room inside Brentwood Middle/High School.

But students relied on the moveable cart used for years as the Brentwood Middle School Parents and Teachers for Student Success school store. They bought the pencils and book covers it carried, or picked out snacks during middle school athletic events.

High school senior Greg Casey, 17, said he understood the importance of the parent-teacher group's mobile store. So for his Eagle Scout project, he and about a dozen other Boy Scouts and high school students built a new cart that became the new Brentwood School Store.

“It's nice to have a school store,” Casey said. “(The students) don't even have to leave the school and they can buy the things they need.”

Casey said he modified a design drafted by Brentwood High School teacher Brian Joyce, who had offered to build a new school store for the PTSS at a cost of $600. Instead, Casey raised donations of wood, hinges and other building materials he needed from local hardware stores.

The new school store would include extra functions, such as a drop-down shelf and an electrical outlet to allow hot food to be sold during after-school sporting events, Casey said.

Wheels along with a side handle would make it easier to move the cart from the school cafeteria to outside the gymnasium for various activities.

Building the cart with the other volunteers was a learning experience for Casey, who said he had to become a leader.

“You need to be very thorough when you're explaining something, so that they understand what they're doing,” Casey said.

Members of the PTSS were impressed that Casey stepped up to help the group, said Celestina Shoup, treasurer.

The school store once was one of the largest fundraisers for the parent-teacher group, until members no longer were allowed to sell food items during lunchtime because of changes in federal guidelines for what students were allowed to eat at school, Shoup said.

The PTSS, which had about 40 members as of early November, is looking for a way to recoup that revenue and couldn't afford to have a new store built, she said.

Having the store, though, is just as important to parents as it is to students.

“It was a way for us parents to be there and see our children during the day,” Shoup said, noting middle school can be a “hard transition” for parents as well as students as they leave elementary school.

Students are impressed with the current mobile store.

“The new one is so much more high-tech,” said high school senior Andrew Stofesky, 18, who helped Casey with the construction. “It's nice to see something new and improved.”

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or

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