$24,000 Lowe's/SkillsUSA grant used to repair storm-damaged parks, cemetery
Schoharie Mayor John Borst had nothing but praise recently for the restoration work done by Capital Region BOCES Career & Tech students at Lasell Park. During an Oct. 12 visit to the park, which sits on a ridge overlooking the village, Borst thanked the students for constructing a new 60-by-20-foot picnic pavilion, fabricating and installing heavy-duty, professional-grade charcoal grills, and building several custom-sized picnic tables that are both a better fit and a wise financial investment.
"The students made our picnic tables 5 feet wide rather than the usual six," Borst said. "This allows the Kiwanis [and other groups] to set them up three tables across the width of the pavilion, and seat more people for their fund-raisers." Mayor Borst is pictured at right with one of the student-made grills.
Gene Amedio, president of the Schoharie Kiwanis, visited Lasell Park on Oct. 15, where he met with a group of Career & Tech Schoharie campus students and staff who were continuing their work on the park's grounds. He told Principal Denise Capece that the pavilion not only seats up to 200 people, but it is much more accessible and user-friendly because the students leveled the surrounding area. "The Kiwanis held a steak roast here this summer and people loved the pavilion so much, they already reserved tickets for next year!" Amedio said. "We are very thankful to BOCES for all that they've done."
In early 2012, Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation awarded a $24,000 Lowe’s/SkillsUSA Community Rebuilding Grant to Career & Tech for repairing the parks and cemetery. At Lasell Park, the students also repaired roads damaged in the fall 2011 hurricane and subsequent tropic storm, cleared downed trees and brush, and built benches.
They also built picnic tables for Fox Creek Park on County Route 30, and a new 8-foot by 12-foot maintenance supply storage shed for Sloansville Valley Cemetery (pictured at left), both a short drive from the Schoharie Career & Tech School campus.
The projects, which are nearing completion, involved students in a number of Career & Tech programs at both campuses, including construction and heavy equipment, building trades, and welding & metal fabrication. Culinary arts students provided refreshments, and SkillsUSA Chapter members from a number of classes from both campuses worked on restoring the parks last spring.
Community service is an integral part of students' coursework at Career & Tech and is also a focus of the school's SkillsUSA chapters, which led the grant application. SkillsUSA is a national organization of career and technical education students that promotes personal and professional growth, leadership, service to community and good citizenship.
“The grant in Schoharie represents Lowe’s commitment to career and technical education,” said Marshall Croom, chairman of Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “By supporting schools like Capital Region BOCES, we believe we are contributing to a cause that’s important to our customers and employees by helping provide improved learning environments and building stronger communities.”
First photo from left: The finished pavilion and picnic tables at Lasell Park. Second photo: A student work crew with Kiwanis president Gene Amedio on Oct. 15. Third photo: Amedio speaks with Denise Capece, Schoharie campus principal. Note how three tables fit across the pavilion due to their custom built width.
Below: Students work on the pavilion at Lasell Park during the spring of 2012.
Below: Students installed new grills fabricated by the Welding class and cleared tree roots and storm debris in Lasell Park during spring 2012.