GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- A course at Southern Westchester BOCES is bringing a benefit to a Greenburgh park.
Walk into Richie Thomas' construction/plumbing classroom at the Southern Westchester BOCES Center for Career Services on any given day, and you'll find Thomas guiding his students on a hands-on project that could help them find jobs as professional glaziers following graduation.
Since late fall, the students have been repairing and restoring a number of windows that came from a historic barn in the Hart's Brook Park and Preserve in Hartsdale, once known as the Gaisman Estate.
The estate was formerly owned by Henry Gaisman, the inventor of the famous Gillette safety razor blade. The sizable restoration and repair project is being done in collaboration with the town of Greenburgh, which received a $25,000 grant from the Lanza Family Foundation to carry out the work.
The grant is paying for materials that are being used to restore 53 windows from the barn, which was built in 1928 and is surrounded by a greenhouse and four unused horse stalls.
"We are thrilled to get local SWBOCES students to assist us in restoring the windows to this historic barn," said Gerard Byrne, Greenburgh commissioner of parks and recreation.
Thomas said he was delighted to take on the project and the opportunity to teach his students an in-demand skill that could someday help get them a good-paying job.
BOCES Principal Jim Matera said the collaborative project is a great example of how two organizations can work together to benefit students.
"The town of Greenburgh has been a great partner to us as we educate our future tradespeople," said Matera. "Not only are our students gaining authentic work experience through this project, but they are also helping to restore a part of their own community for future parkgoers to enjoy."
Byrne said he looks forward to continuing similar partnerships in the future. The project is expected to be complete by the end of the school year, when Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner plans to hold a formal recognition ceremony for all involved.
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