WUSTL volunteers pave the way for CGI U large-scale service project​​​​​

More than 250 students, faculty, staff and friends from across the university gathered at Gateway STEM High School last Saturday, March 30, to help lay the groundwork for this weekend’s meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University.

Projects ranged from taping and priming interior walls to removing worn flooring, painting athletic field bleachers and building a series of raised planter beds for Gateway STEM’s horticulture program.

The work cleared the way for the CGI U service project, an even larger undertaking that will conclude the weekend’s activities. Approximately 800 conference delegates will work on dozens of restorative projects and facility updates around Gateway STEM — from grounds maintenance and storage clean-out to garden construction and more.

In an effort to create a greener and healthier environment, each project will incorporate sustainable products and practices. The event will include a short program featuring President Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and Gateway STEM High School Principal, Beth Bender, who will speak about the importance of giving back.

Social work student Nondwe Kali paints the walls inside Gateway STEM High School.

whitney curtis
Students remove carpet from a classroom and take it to the dumpster. As part of CGI U, Interface carpet company donated new, sustainable carpet, which will be installed by students Sunday, April 7.

whitney curtis
Architecture students in the Sam Fox School designed a series of raised planter beds for use by faculty and students in Gateway STEM’s horticulture program. Here, volunteers unroll, fold and staple metal hardware cloth into the inside face of the planter base. The idea is to create a “cage” or “basket” filled with chunks of gravel, which will facilitate water drainage.

whitney curtis
Jimmy Biagi, a senior in mechanical engineering, cuts timber for use in the planter base. To minimize cutting and waste, the dimensions of the planter are matched to readily available material sizes.
(Credit: whitney curtis)