The Child Protective Service office in Payson has undergone a face-lift.
The beginning of the renovation began when CPS Supervisor Mary Meyers spoke to the Payson Optimist club. She described the workings of CPS and the many things caseworkers do on a daily basis.
During Meyers' presentation, she mentioned a small children's play area that could also be used for evaluations and conferences.
Optimist members decided that $50 would be provided for videos and books for the small room and lobby.
Payson High School students in their woodworking classes made some furniture for the small room, and Wal-Mart provided a $600 grant that was used to pay for televisions and other things.
The idea then expanded in many directions resulting in a complete makeover of the two rooms. In addition, videos and DVDs became available for children to take home.
Harry Young, with a little help from his daughter, Bonnie -- both Optimist Club members -- painted two murals for the CPS office.
The mural encompasses all four walls and all four seasons.
The seasons, he said, can represent Flagstaff, Sedona, the desert or whatever location the viewer wants it to be.
It took Young six months to do the two murals. He had to work on evenings and weekends when no one was working at the office, he said.
Young said he had no idea while creating the mural what the end product would be.
"I never knew where I would go with something until I did it," he said. "We thought of a mural around the room, but did not want to overdo it."
The concept of the drawing came from the book, "Learning Tree."
Joan Young said the goal was to involve the community. She said one of the biggest priorities was to promote reading.
"This is probably the most exciting thing we have ever done," she said.
Meyers said the Payson office serves 60 foster children and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. CPS caseworkers are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
-- To reach Michael Maresh call 474-5251 ext. 112 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.