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Trade students build skills by giving Plattsburgh gazebo a face-lift

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:11 PM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - An iconic scene in Northern New York is getting some much-needed TLC, and those behind sprucing it up are getting an experience you can’t replace.

You may have heard a commotion in downtown Plattsburgh as a job site has taken shape right in front of that iconic Lake Champlain view.

“It’s been years in the works,” said Joanne Dahlen of the Sunrise Rotary. “The gazebo is a big destination.”

The Sunrise Rotary Gazebo in Plattsburgh is getting a much-needed face-lift and those doing the work are gaining an experience you can’t get in a classroom.

“This is as close as you can get to the real life because you are actually doing a job,” said Shay Collins, a building trades student.

“It’s a difficult project and we are thrilled to have the expertise that we have with the students we have from CV-TEC,” Dahlen said.

The roof is getting ripped apart and completely redone over the next several weeks by 36 building trade students at CV-TEC.

“I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty,” Collins said. “I like building something and getting something out of it.”

“You don’t get an opportunity to do roofing inside a classroom,” said Mike Drew of CV-Tec Building Trades.

The students work two separate shifts learning in a real-world setting.

“This is our second day here. We’ve just been stripping,” said Xander McCabe, a building trades student.

They’re on the job roughly two hours a day, two days a week.

“Not a long workday by any stretch but keep plugging away at it,” Drew said.

All the materials needed have been donated from local businesses through the Sunrise Rotary.

“It really does take a village to get them done,” Dahlen said.

The students learn all angles of the job on-site, from safety to scaffolding to cleanup. But most importantly, it’s teaching them the pride that comes from seeing their work stand in that iconic view.

“If we do good, everyone is going to see it and we will be able to say we were the ones that did it,” McCabe said.

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