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Tech pupils installing lockers for MU hoops

September 7, 2018
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Bret Masters, a teacher with the construction academy, talks with students from the Cabell County Career Technology Center as they begin installing athletic lockers at the Cam Henderson Center on Thursday in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — As the likenesses of Hal Greer, Mike D’Antoni and Tamar Slay look on from the pantheon of heroes stretching above the Marshall University men’s basketball locker room, high school students at Cabell County Career Technology Center got to work Thursday renovating the home of the Herd.

“I’ve never done anything this big,” said D.J. Walker, a ninth-grader from Milton in the career center’s building technology program. “The magnitude of the job is just crazy.”

The work includes replacing, reinstalling and rewiring the individual players’ lockers with new wooden cabinets created by Chandler’s in Westmoreland, with students shadowing the art of cabinetry.

About 30 career center students made the first-day assessments Thursday, taking laser-guided measurements and mapping out the electrical lines to the breaker box. The project is a joint effort by the school’s electrical, carpentry and building technology programs, which means some students will work alongside other trades for the first time.

“Not many high-schoolers get to do this, especially us ninth-graders, to get to show their real skill in things like this,” Walker said.

Of course, instructors keep a watchful eye, making sure wiring is up to code or that tools are handled safely, and the experience is worked into their larger lesson plans.

Practicing their trade outside the familiarity of their workshop presents its own new dynamic for application in the real world, added Bret Masters, building technology instructor.

“There’s a lot of pressure in working in the public, especially here at Marshall, but it’s a relaxed atmosphere,” he continued. “It’s not like there’s a big crowd here, but it’s more than our shop at school though.”

Beyond the important lessons learned on such a high-profile job, students will forever be able to look at the Cam Henderson Center as something they helped create, electrical instructor Charles Vaughn added.

“Honestly, for a lot of our kids, they’re actually getting to see that what they’re learning out there in school — even though they might not be going to college — makes a difference.”

The full project is expected to be completed by Oct. 1, well ahead of basketball season.

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