Shawsheen Tech Carpentry Students Get Experience at Bedford’s Compost Center

Carpentry students from Shawsheen Tech working on a new office shed for the Bedford Compost Center ~ Image, JMcCT (c) 2022 all rights reserved


The storage shed under construction changes the landscape at the Department of Public Works compost center on Carlisle Road.

Instructor Rick Weadick (l) and Nancy Asbedian, one of Bedford’s representatives to the Shawsheen School Committee, visited the construction site on Tuesday ~ Image, JMcCT (c) 2022 all rights reserved ~ Click to view the image at full size

Not only is it new, but it’s replete with carpentry students from Shawsheen Valley Technical High School, swarming like bees on and around the building.

Tuesday morning the students were supervised by 18-year faculty veteran Rick Weadick. He explained that the fieldwork helps carpentry students develop basic skills before they embark on senior year cooperative programs in the community. “What we’re trying to do is get our kids ready for a job site,” the instructor said.

Nancy Asbedian, one of Bedford’s representatives on the Shawsheen Tech School Committee, came by for a look. “This makes me so proud,” she exclaimed.

The shed is 10-by-18 feet in size, including an interior office, and also features a front porch. There will be double doors in the rear and vinyl siding. Weadick thinks the work will be complete in a couple more weeks.

Elizabeth Antanavica, the DPW’s refuse and recycling administrator, said the extra storage space will be welcome. She also noted that the building will be connected to electric power, so the staffer on the site during public dropoff can use the office on cold days rather than sit in a running vehicle to keep warm.

“Our drafting department comes up with a set of prints,” Weadick explained, then turns the plans over to the carpenters.

There are 23 grade 11 carpentry students, and they are at the compost center in shifts of 11 or 12 on school days between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Weadick said. “Once I get them going in the morning,” they work independently.

Shawsheen Tech students have a long history of Bedford projects, most recently a garage for the Bedford Housing Authority and a single-family house for Habitat for Humanity.

The camaraderie among the crew was self-evident; it was like watching a precision sports team.

“I love getting out of the school and working on a job site, getting a change of scenery,” said Bobby Dodge of Wilmington. He cited the collaboration that takes place “even for the small things. It’s a good bonding experience.”

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