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Greenport High School students get a new place to hone construction skills

Students in construction classes at Greenport High School will have a new outdoor space to hone their skills in plumbing, electrical work and more thanks in part to a $5,000 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant.

“We have the space to mock-up a house,” technology teacher Mike Davies said. “Students can do electrical, plumbing, framing — it gives them a real experience. It’s like a BOCES feel in-house.”

Mr. Davies, who teaches multiple technology classes at the high school, said students in his 3-D printing class will be making 3-D renderings of what the outdoor space could be. He added that this will be a multiyear project, and hopes to begin working on it with students next school year.

Called the How-To: Construction project, it will give students the opportunity to learn skills that are in demand for local jobs.

Mr. Davies said he hopes to team up with local businesses and community members for donations of materials and instructional support to help create the project. Outdoor tool boxes have already been purchased and a location has been chosen for the work area.

“I always get people wandering in asking if I have any kids that want to do so and so,” Mr. Davies said. “It’s nice to tie in the local businesses. They can stop by and give a lesson and if some kid’s got a knack for it or shows interest they could get hired. It’s a good in for some kids who want to do this and to get them involved.”

This isn’t the first time students in Mr. Davies’ classes have partnered with the community on projects. In addition to building fences and planters for the school garden, they built the little free libraries that are scattered throughout the village, helped out with Eagle Scout projects and created planters for Mitchell Park. 

“The Lowe’s grant enables our faculty to expand on the amazing construction projects our students develop,” principal Gary Kalish said in a statement. “From our garden projects to the planters placed throughout the village, we are all so proud of the work of Greenport students. We wish to thank our friends at Lowe’s for generously supporting this important project.”

The district received a similar Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant last year that went toward materials, supplies and equipment needed to continue creating a garden in the front of the building. 

Mr. Davies said hands-on programs like these benefit both the students and community and allow students to get involved in trades early on, which he feels is important. 

“The community benefits from it and it keeps the kids doing good things,” he said. “They’re putting in the work, building value in a hard day’s work and building up skills along the way.”

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