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A welcoming sight for all time

By Staff | Dec 6, 2011

Tuesday afternoon, Eric Butler, (center) Executive Director of the LCTC, cuts the ribbon for the new gazebo that the students built in Hughesville on the corner of Water and Main Streets. The project was made possible from a $10,000 grant from Lowe's. During Hughesville's tree lighting ceremony Friday evening, Santa re-dedicated the new gazebo along with mayor, Walt Reed. It was built by students from Lycoming Career and Technology Center.

HUGHESVILLE – Just in time for last Sunday’s tree lighting ceremony, downtown Hughesville is now decorated with a brand new gazebo. Without a grant from Lowe’s and a partnership with the Borough, the East Lycoming school district, Rotary, Main Street, and the hard work from the students at the Lycoming Career and Technology Center (LCTC), this endeavor would not have been possible.

Much of the funding and materials came from Lowe’s and Skills USA, an international student government for the LCTC.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new gazebo was declared on Tuesday, November 29 at 1:30 p.m. on the corner of Water and Main Streets where the gazebo was erected. The project began last spring with the help of a grant received from Lowe’s. Geneva Peck from the Hughesville Rotary assisted the students with the application process and they were awarded $10,000. “We were the only school in Pennsylvania to get this grant,” she said. “It was a very competitive grant.”

“These are outstanding projects for our students in the community,” said Eric Butler director of the LCTC before the ribbon cutting. “Real world skills are gained. They learned about budgeting, ordering materials, and most importantly working together and working with each other.”

A cross curriculum of life building skills were given throughout the entire project, starting with drafting, then construction, wiring, and welding. The students also learned masonry skills with the help of local businessmen Robbie Barto and Danny Thomas who helped them with the concrete flooring that is unique in itself. Thomas and Barto donated their time and talent and worked with the students. The students mastered technical competencies as part of their final exam, and put into practice real life competencies. “This has been an amazing project,” said instructor Shawn Smith who resides in Unityville. All that remains is the landscaping and some painting.

They were delayed for a few weeks because of the bad weather. “We had 14 inches of rain, and that set us back about 3 weeks,” Smith said. A really neat feature for the gazebo is the stained glass cupola which will light up at night. “It is light sensitive,” Smith said. All building trades were utilized.

Mayor Walt Reed said that the gazebo will be known now as a landmark in Hughesville. “The students will see this for the rest of their lives,” he declared. “This addition to our community park is progressing very well thanks to donations, grants and a lot of good people,” added Becky Fought, Main Street coordinator.

Charley Hall from Representative Garth Everett’s office reminded everyone how numerous partnerships and people working together brought the project to completion. “This is a nice focal point for downtown Hughesville,” he said. Eric Hauser who came from Senator Yaw’s office spoke fondly of the LCTC as he related a story about the success of a friend who graduated from the school in computer programming and became employed after gainiing hands on experience that the LCTC offers. Colleen Kemp, a resident of Hughesville and a representative aide with Congressman Marino, expressed how proud she was to be a community member with these young leaders.”They are our future to this community. I thank you for doing something good,” she told them.

Acting Superintendent for the LCTC, Dr. Portia Brandt concluded on how good it was for the students to be giving back to their community.

About 16 students worked on the project from start to finish. “It was fun. It really was,” said Eric Schmouder, a senior from Loyalsock. On Friday night during the tree lighting ceremony, Santa, himself re-dedicated the gazebo to the public.