View More Stories >

Retool Your School: 10 Years Strong

February 25, 2019

Retool Your School began with the simple mission: give back to HBCUs by facilitating updates to campuses. Now celebrating its 10th year, the projects funded by the program’s grants instill pride among current students, faculty, alumni, community supporters – and generations to come.

From creating study areas to building outdoor eco-classrooms, The Home Depot’s campus improvement grant program, Retool Your School, has been improving historically black college and university (HBCU) campuses and communities across the country since 2009.

“Retool Your School is a catalyst for rallying the spirit of the community within the campus. It demonstrates there’s a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for the university as a whole,” says Rodner Wright, dean of Florida A&M University School of Architecture and Engineering Technology and 2016 grant recipient.

Rally around this year’s Retool Your School campaign with these ten facts about the program so far that you may not already know:

  1. Nearly 500 grants were awarded, totaling $2.1 million to-date.
  2. 87 percent of HBCUs have participated in Retool Your School.
  3. The schools are divided into three clusters by student population size. The top three schools in each cluster with the most votes and best project proposal scores will win.
  4. Retool Your School continues to grow, with $500,000 in grants available among the ten winning HBCUs this year. Each will receive a grand prize grant of $50,000.
  5. Retool Your School has generated 19.5 million votes in the previous nine years.
  6. This year’s celebration also includes a newly created award. “Campaign of the Year” will go to the school whose campaign is most original, innovative, and particularly effective.
  7. Local Home Depot associate volunteers have donated over 4,000 hours on the projects that have developed from the awarded grants so far.
  8. Retool Your School is an award-winning program, recognized across industries. The AAF Mosaic Center for Multiculturalism honored RYS as ‘best multi-ethnic interactive campaign’ in 2012.
  9. The program also received the City of Atlanta’s highest honor, the Phoenix Award, in 2014.
  10. In 2015/2016, RYS was recognized by the White House Initiative on HBCUs.

The voting period for the 2019 program opens Monday, Feb. 25, and will run through Monday, Apr. 15. Support your school by voting at or by using the school’s designated hashtag on Twitter or Instagram. You can also follow along with this year’s campaign using #RYS10Strong.

Keep up with all the latest Home Depot news! Subscribe to our bi-weekly news update and get the top Built from Scratch stories delivered straight to your inbox.

Related Stories & Articles: