CLEVELAND – Students at Max Hayes High School presented the City of Cleveland with a refurbished police cruiser that they repaired after it was damaged during the Cavs championship celebrations.
Students in the Auto Collision Repair program spent the last year and a half dismantling and rebuilding the cruiser.
Fans jumped on the hood and roof of the car while it was parked on East 4th Street near Quicken Loans Arena in June of 2016, smashing windows and denting the metal.
Teacher Greg Boykin saw the damaged cruiser on the news, and he saw potential. He approached the city about having his auto body students repair the vehicle.
The students sanded, painted and buffed the cruiser, replacing its roof, hood and side panels. Materials were donated by companies including Sherwin Williams, Safelite Auto Glass, Meguiar’s, Dollar Bank and United Sales.
“We all had our different skills and knew different things, and if we put a little bit of this and a little bit of that together, we were able to come together as a team to make this project work,” student Karla Diaz said.
Division of Motor Vehicle Maintenance Commissioner Jeff Brown said the city deemed the vehicle a total loss and planned to scrap its parts until hearing from Boykin. He said the students’ work resulted in cost savings for the city of about $10,000.
“It's absolutely fantastic,” Brown said. “It actually means more to us that the students did it than if a professional body shop had done it.”
Senior Percy Bouldin said working on the cruiser has motivated him to go to school, and he plans to open his own body shop after he graduates.
“When you paint a car and see the outcome of a car, you love it,” he said.
Brown said the cruiser will be placed back into service as a zone car.