Bowling Pin pals - I get donations of wooden bowling pins from the local
bowling alley (they should be the older wooden ones). We sand the plastic
coating with course sand paper, and then prime with good quality problem
solving primer.....and then the kids go to town! My students have turned
the bowling pin into things like a squirrel, an alien, a bride, and even a
representation of me! They love this project!
Cardboard sculptures - you do need a lot of good corrigated cardboard
though, and good cutting knives......students could work 'hollow', or build
dimension by creating layers and layers like a topigraphical map.
Shoes? Taking old shoes, and adding things, painting on them, collaging,
etc.....maybe in the style of a famous artist?
Good luck! I went through a retro-fit in our school a few years
back....while we didn't really get anything 'new' because it was just about
bringing the building up to code, we did have to completely move out (and
packing up the art room is no small task!).