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Contact Info
Name: Tina Erskine
Email Address: terskine@wccc.me.edu
Phone: (207) 454-1002
Date Submitted: October 17, 2012

CALAIS _ Students enrolled in the one-year Construction Technology Program at the Washington County Community College are hard at work building an equipment storage garage at the Calais Cemetery on South Street.

The collaborative effort began after Calais City Manager Diane Barnes approached the college about the construction project. Building Construction Instructor Dick Ramsey agreed to participate. “It is a good opportunity for a “live” educational project for our students,” he said.

The students began work on the building the end of September. Eight students are working on the project, four days a week. The class includes high school graduates as well as non-traditional students.

Barnes said the city has a great relationship with the community college and praised the collaborative efforts of the two. “I think it is two-fold because the students get a hands-on community service project experience of constructing a building, while the city is able to enhance its facilities and services for its citizens.”

“You get to start right from the ground and work your way up through,” Ramsey said. “This semester we cover framing techniques and roofing systems and this falls right in with our first semester curriculum.”

Ramsey said that this was the programs fifth year. He said that eventually the college would like to expand the course work and make it a two-year associate degree program.

Next semester the students will work in the college’s Center for Construction Excellence, a house/laboratory, located across Route 1 from the college.

“The second semester we work in the inside of the house and look at the science of heating and insulating among other things. It is quite intensive for one year,” he said of the program.

In addition to the certificate in Building Construction Technology, the students also receive accreditation through the National Center of Construction Education and Research. “They cover the whole of the continental United States and they have a board that sets the standards for the curriculum. It is made up of people who work in the field,” he said.