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Band room renovations complete, thanks to Rio Mesa teen’s project

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Lexi Townley walked through the rundown band room at Rio Mesa High School in Camarillo last year and was inspired to act.

The 16-year-old junior wanted to clean up the place and knew she’d need help and resources.

“I looked around and realized how dilapidated it was,” Lexi said. “I contacted the Home Depot in Camarillo to donate some paint for us to use.”

From there, the project took on a life of its own.

About seven months and countless phone calls later, Lexi had orchestrated the renovation of the band room, complete with new paint and hardwood flooring.

“It means a lot to everyone in band,” said the Camarillo resident. “The old room had really bad acoustics for music.”

The Home Depot stores in Camarillo and Oxnard took part in the project, which Lexi said cost about $10,000.

Ray Gonzales, the principal at Rio Mesa, said he was impressed by what Lexi accomplished.

“It’s really quite amazing to see a young person get on the phone, pound the pavement and get such a major corporation to donate,” the principal said. “She went above and beyond with her efforts.”

He said the benefits of the renovation echo far beyond the band room.

“It’s a significant amount of money,” Gonzales said. “There’s no doubt it benefits the band program, but it benefits the whole school. It’s given us a morale boost across the campus. Kids go out and talk about it, and the mood spreads.”

Bruce Edmiston, teacher of the band class, did not return calls for comment on the upgrade.

Lexi said the hardest part of the project was all the time she spent on the phone.

The clarinet player said she had difficulty getting in contact with corporate people on a school schedule.

“I would call the Home Depot, talk to one person about one thing and another person about something else,” she said. “It took a lot of coordination.”

Lexi hopes to attend Stanford University and major in biochemistry.

“It’s like trying to explain how much I like breathing,” she said, referring to her passion for science.

“The thing I look most forward to in life is going to chemistry class.”

Lexi said the band room renovation is something that will keep her motivated throughout the rest of high school.

“After seven months of planning and working toward this, it’s just amazing,” she said.

“I can now look at the room and say, ‘I did this. I fixed this for us.”’

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