Town Partners With Local Youth Development School To Bring New Life To Municipal Pavilion
Staff and students of the Bennington School, a local youth development organization, could be seen last week replacing the roof on the Willow Park Pavilion. This project is just a small part of the school’s mission to provide experiential learning opportunities to students as a way to build practical skills and accountability though community engagement.
Over the course of three days, school professionals and students worked to remove the old shingles from the structure and replace them with new, giving renewed life to the more than 40 year old structure. The work was coordinated by the school’s project manager, Todd Thompson, who provided guidance and instruction to the students throughout the process. Thompson, a skilled carpenter, completed more of the high-risk tasks.
The Bennington School, which was purchased by Becket, a full service mental health group with locations in Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, in January of 2013, is located off of Fairview Street and currently provides services to more than 55 students between the ages 10-18. According to Ralph Bennett, the school’s director of operations, students participate in a number of programs that are aimed at improving their overall health. “I think we have a great program and a terrific staff that is second to none,” Bennett went on to say.
According to Larry McLeod, Bennington’s facilities manager, the Town began discussions with the School approximately ten months ago, and what started as casual discussion, quickly became a reality. “Within a couple days of suggesting the project to them, their project manager was at the site taking measurements and giving us an estimate for materials.” McLeod went on to say that the only cost to the Town were the materials used in the project, and that the quality of work was very high.
Moving forward, the Town will continue to look for projects that could utilize the skills of the staff and students at the Bennington School; that said, both organizations recognize the importance of having close partnerships with local contractors in the community, and will continue to partner with companies for large scale and more complex projects. “We are very sensitive to the relationships we have with our local vendors, and don’t want to do anything that would cause a local business to lose out on a potential job,” McLeod said.
Bennington was chartered in 1749, making it the first chartered community in the State of Vermont. Located in the southwesternmost corner of the state, Bennington is home to a number of cutting-edge manufacturing businesses that specialize in the production of various composite compounds, earning the area the moniker “Composites Valley.” In addition, the Town is nestled in the Green Mountain National Forest and sought after by outdoor recreation enthusiasts.
For more information regarding this release, contact Michael Harrington, Economic and Community Development Director for the Town of Bennington at 802-447-9710 or [email protected]