Construction students build a greenhouse

Busy builders

Greenhouse project is a ‘win-win’

Construction students assist White Plains Youth Bureau

When Richard Thomas told his students it was time to work on the greenhouse trusses, they went right to work. They measured, sawed and nailed together each piece of wood in an almost automated fashion.

Mr. Thomas noted the students seemed to work very well together and a few minutes of observation was enough to see he was right.

Before long, students had one truss just about complete.

The trusses are part of a special collaborative project the students are doing for the White Plains Youth Bureau. Earlier in the year, the students built a shed for the organization’s garden. The greenhouse is a continuation of the bureau’s gardening program.

Aidan O’Brien, a senior from Ardsley High School, said this particular project was being done as if the class was building a house. First the supports for the roof are being constructed, the floor will be next and eventually the sides.

“It’s a win-win for us,” Mr. Thomas said of the project. He explained the youth bureau had agreed to supply the necessary materials if the students would complete the construction. The youth bureau will have a functional outbuilding for its work, and students will gain valuable experience.

“They are having fun doing this,” Mr. Thomas said of his students.

When complete, the greenhouse will measure 8-by-12 feet with a half-inch plexiglass paneled sides and roof.

“It’s like how you would build a real house,” Aidan said of the way the class is working on this project.

Projects like this one helped him to confirm what he would like to do in the future. Aidan said he plans to study construction management in college, and attending BOCES inspired him.

“Coming here really helped me decide what I want to do,” he said.

Aidan has been accepted at SUNY Delhi University and SUNY Alfred State College.

Estaban Valencia, a senior at New Rochelle High School, is the project leader. In that role, he uses the experience he has learned from his construction worker father to help his classmates.

“I guide them,” he said.