RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Select students from six elementary schools in Riviera Beach painted the wall behind Fire Station 88, which is planning to open soon.
Students from Lincoln Elementary, Grove Park Elementary, West Riviera Elementary, R.J. Hendley Christian Community School, Washington Elementary and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary began painting the mural on May 5.
The winning students were voted by residents after submitting their art work in an art contest back in October during the Riviera Beach Fire & Rescue Department's safety fair.
"I was so happy, when I heard that I won," Zavian Olofin, fourth-grader at R.J. Hendley Christian Community School, said. "My name's going to be up there and the whole city is going to see it."
The winners were chosen to paint a mural from their art piece with professional artist Harold Caudio at the newly constructed fire station located on the corner of Congress Avenue and Blue Heron Boulevard.
New $17 million state-of-the-art fire station coming to Riviera Beach
"This is the path I used to take every day walking to school," he said. "[I thought] it would be so good if we did something art-incorporated with the community with the fire station."
The students expressed gratitude and excitement about the experience and how they're looking forward to showing their families what they painted.
”The winners from all the elementary schools in the city are out here today, painting their murals on the wall, so they can be part of this historic station when it opens," Riviera Beach Assistant Fire Chief Mark Johnson said.
Lincoln Elementary art teacher Joe Granahan said he hopes this experience is something the students will remember for years to come.
"That will be a great thing for them to say, 'Oh my God, I did that when I was in elementary school," he said, "and hopefully they remember my name too."
The mural is scheduled to be completed by the end of the month.