In a typical year, Monty Tech students in the house carpentry, plumbing, HVAC, electrical and other programs will construct a house as an annual project, but over the past two years, juniors and seniors had the uncommon experience of constructing the school’s new Veterinary Science Training Center & Community Clinic. Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School officially opened the new clinic in the Fall of 2018, designed by LPA|A and built by students.
Two hundred students, under the supervision of twenty instructors across eight different trades built the clinic over the course of two school years. Everything from framing, roofing, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing was both an opportunity to learn and a gift to the school and community, which will benefit from the new facility for years to come.
Superintendent Sheila Harrity said of the project, “Watching the foundation being poured, the walls and roof going up, and putting the finishing touches in place has truly been an honor, and a highlight of my years in education. While I am a life-long believer that a high-quality education makes a difference in the lives of our students, watching our talented instructors work with their students, sharing their skills and expertise, and carefully observing students take the lead in this building project has only affirmed this belief.”
As the architect, LPA|A took into consideration that students would be building the facility and so took care to not only design a functional building for the veterinary program, but a useful teaching tool for students. As an example, the new building uses more than one type of heating system, which gave students in the HVAC program exposure to, and hands-on experience with multiple system types. The design and drawings were as straightforward and simple as possible, given the complex nature of a building of this type.
The project took longer than it typically would to construct, because learning and instruction time was built into the work, and the work only took place during school hours. The instructors made sure that students were working at a professional level in completing their work.
LPA|A Project Architect Bill Senecal remarked on the quality of the work, “The students did such an excellent job. They would spend hours making sure their work was perfect, and every stud, every pipe was perfect.”
Veterinary science students are already taking advantage of the new facility and soon the clinic will be open to the public, providing medical care to pets from local low-income families.