New Camp Building Wired With Help From SJA Students

 

DERBY -- The new four-season building is up at Coutts-Moriarty Camp and is being wired for electricity with the help of St. Johnsbury Academy students.

Former Academy student and master electrician Dan Brownlow of Danville is donating his time to do the job, according to camp director Annie Brueck. Teaming up with Academy teacher Mike Bugbee, who is also a master electrician, Brownlow brought in a team of 11 students to make quick work of the wiring.

"Usually we try to work for nonprofits," Bugbee said. His students have done work for the Academy itself, the Calex building, the Barnet town garage, the Danville Town Hall, and Catamount Arts, among others.

Last year, the students wired a 23,000-square-foot dorm at the Academy, Bugbee said. Typically, the students would design the electrical as well, but Brownlow was already on that task.

Students use the hours in Bugbee's classes as part of their training for the state apprenticeship program. In the four hours spent at the camp Thursday (Feb. 9), "They will have a good chunk of this building done," Bugbee said.

It is rare for the students to get a full day to devote to one project, but "every once in a while we can sneak out for a whole day," he said.

The students have to make up the work missed in their academic classes that day, "but it really doesn't bother them," Bugbee said. "They're damn good kids." His students compete in the annual Skills USA events, in Burlington for the state as well as the national event, where they've taken gold and silver medals, and Bugbee is clearly very proud.

Brueck said Brownlow's involvement in the project has been invaluable. "This is all his doing. It's amazing how they just got right to work," she said.

Brownlow's children attend the camp and his wife has volunteered there as well, Brueck said. "I think it's great to have community involved in a community building," she said.

The students were rewarded with a lunch donated by Hoagie's, she said.

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