In the works

Career Center students taking on projects to benefit Warren County

Students at the Warren County Career Center designed and built this informational kiosk at Rimrock Trail.

Warren County and Warren County School District are going to work together on some construction projects.

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston approached the curriculum, instruction, and technology committee regarding having career center students work on county projects.

“I got the idea that we should work with the career center and create a partnership… so they could use Act 13 funds to do construction projects,” Eggleston said. “I had a conversation with (career center Principal) Jim Evers to work with the career center to build benches for the bike trail.”

There is not a lot of money in the Act 13 account, so projects would be necessarily small.

“We were talking about installing benches,” he said. “We need new picnic tables. We were talking about installing gazebos.”

“This is a good way for them to get work and career experience,” Eggleston said.

If the initial project is successful, Eggleston said the county could offer mini-grants to municipalities.

Board member Joe Colosimo said Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways had an excellent experience working with the career center. At Rimrock Trail, career center students in the building construction occupations program built a trailhead kiosk and a viewing platform.

“It worked out fabulous,” Colosimo said. “We provided the material, they gave us an outstanding product.”

Eggleston said he was hoping the county could work with at least the building construction occupations, pre-engineering, and marketing programs at the career center.

“Our pre-engineering students can do the entire design from start to finish,” Evers said.

“Even if the career center doesn’t do the construction, having the students do the design is very important,” Eggleston said.

Evers said the renovation of the career center would allow the space for some BCO students to be working on a house for Habitat for Humanity, while other students work on benches and other items for the county.

The board was enthusiastic about the collaboration.

“Anything we can do with the county to collaborate, we’re all in this together,” board member Paul Mangione said. “You have budget implications, we have budget implications. Funding is always going to be an issue. I think this would be a positive step.”

“We’ve had hypothetical discussions about the projects they might do,” Superintendent Amy Stewart said. “They would have to have a discussion with Mr. Evers first.”

“This agreement… does propose project deliverables,” Eggleston said. “Six benches, two tables, and a gazebo. It’s going to cost some money, but it’s not going to bankrupt Act 13.”

Board member Arthur Stewart suggested that the agreement to be signed by the board be more “open-ended” rather than specifying projects. “That way the board would open the gate and administration would approve those things,” he said.