Thanks to the work of six Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School students, including one from Stoughton, a local high school will get a new concession stand by its football field this winter. It’s a win-win situation as the students get hands-on experience in the field of construction.
The students building the concession stand at Norton High School are Thomas Hanrahan of Stoughton, Richard Alger of Easton, and Brockton residents Luis Montero, Julien Fernandes, Joe Gallagher and Cody Howie. They are directed by construction technology teacher Roy Blanchard.
Since mid-September, the group has spent about 15 hours a week working on the project.
“They are really focused,” Blanchard said of the students.
When the basic skeleton of the structure is done, Southeastern hopes to send in electrician and plumbing students to finish the project. When the concession stand is complete, volunteers will be able to cook and sell snacks and beverages in a protected building.
The construction of the concession stand coincides with the construction of the new addition on Norton High School, which is going on just feet away from where the students are working.
“We kind of work with the guys,” Blanchard said. “It’s really nice for us to work next to a construction site because this is where we want to place the kids.
“The whole idea is that they emulate what goes on in the real world for these guys, so that they are ready and and they understand what the expectations are,” Blanchard continued. “They are practically applying all the knowledge that they’ve gained in related classroom and in school.”
Last year the students, save for Hanrahan, were part of an advanced program for sophomores. The students excelled in the program, and were then chosen for this project, which will give them shop credit. Stoughton's Hanrahan was hand picked after helping Blanchard at the end of the year.
“[Mr. Blanchard] saw my work ethic, which made him believe I was able to come out here” Hanrahan said.
Each of them hope to make construction their career and value the experience this opportunity gives them.
“We get to see how the tools work and learn how to do things better,” Hanrahan said.
“It’s been awesome,” Alger added. “I like coming out here and actually seeing how the trade is going to be when we actually get out there. This is more life-like than being in shop and learning that way. I feel like we learn a lot more when we are out here."
In addition to experience and course credit, the students also get camaraderie out of the project. Blanchard has noticed that some of the more independent students open up to others over time and say that the teamwork is the best part of the project.
“It’s fun,” Alger said. “I’m glad I’m out here with this crew of kids.”
The basic structure is slated to be finished in January with plumbing and heating to be added at a later date.
Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School is a public 9-12 vocational high school located in Easton, Massachusetts, serving approximately 1,250 students from the city of Brockton and the towns of Stoughton, East Bridgewater, Easton, Foxboro, Mansfield, Norton, Sharon, and West Bridgewater.