CRAIG CO., Va. -

When his Board of Supervisors decided not to accept an approved loan to fix up his schools, one local school superintendent was forced to get creative.

In Craig County, the schools are in need of repair, and they're going to rely on people in the county to help fix it.

Despite the loan being interest free, the Board didn't want to put the county in debt.

Supervisors asked superintendent Kelly Wilmore to think outside the box.

It was a $5 million, interest-free loan that would have upgraded Craig County schools.

In some rooms, light fixtures look more like a steel maze than a ceiling.

Many walls need painting and lights need replacing.

"In 50 years, the original lights are still there," Wilmore said of the Elementary School.

As a matter of fact, "The elementary school has never really had any true renovations in 50 years."

The Board of Supervisors says revenue for one, massive overhaul just isn't there.

Only 40% of the land in Craig is owned by residents, and the tax base just hasn't grown enough.

"Our biggest, our only tax base is the property taxes and we can only go back to that group of people so often with tax hikes," said Board of Supervisors member Martha Murphy.

Murphy says the decision to turn down the loan was unanimous.

Murphy says all members of the Craig County Board of Supervisors promised constituents that they weren't going to raise taxes.

Forced to go back to the drawing board, Wilmore, his School Board and the Board of Supervisors came up with a plan.

"We will save a tremendous amount of money by doing a lot of the labor ourselves," Wilmore said.

Instead of one big renovation, the Board of Supervisors will prioritize and pay for the biggest fixes over a three to five year period.

While that's going on, they'll buy the supplies for all the cosmetic fixes that will be done by volunteers and the maintenance crews already in the school.

"Getting volunteers and church groups and different groups to come in and help paint, that's going to save the county quite a bit," Wilmore said, "Our maintenance department and some groups in the community are going to come in and replace the tiles after the lights are put in."

This whole idea is just that, an idea, but Wilmore and the Board of Supervisors all seem to be on board.

"We need community support, we are a community school, we are open seven days a week, almost every day of the year for something for our community, so it gives more pride for the community," Wilmore added.

Local contractors will do all the major fixes, like the roof and redoing all the ceilings.

Kelly Wilmore says this plan will save the county nearly $200,000 by doing it this way.

Wilmore understands the Board of Supervisor's decision not to take on the loan.

He says many of those supervisors have said they'll be there with paintbrushes in hand to help out.