Stu­dents brighten down­town Wel­land with new benches

The Welland Tribune - - NEWS - MICHELLE ALLENBERG

About a dozen Ni­a­gara Catholic District School Board stu­dents have cre­ated vi­brant benches now in­stalled at Wel­land’s down­town tran­sit ter­mi­nal.

For about three months stu­dents from var­i­ous schools, in­clud­ing Notre Dame, St. Fran­cis and Lakeshore Catholic, worked on build­ing 10 me­tal benches at the board’s Ni­a­gara Launch Cen­tre at Se­away Mall.

The benches were in­stalled Tues­day.

Work­ing with city em­ploy­ees, stu­dents gained first­hand ex­pe­ri­ence with re­mov­ing old benches and in­stalling the new ones.

Stephanie Hicks, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Wel­land Down­town BIA, said the em­ploy­ees were act­ing as men­tors, which pro­vided valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence.

For Philip Moore, a Grade 12 Lakeshore stu­dent, be­ing part of the project has helped him de­velop his weld­ing skills. Moore said he plans to con­tinue with weld­ing and pos­si­bly pur­sue en­gi­neer­ing af­ter high school.

“It puts me ahead of the other guy,” he said about the ex­pe­ri­ence he has gained work­ing on re­al­world projects.

The BIA part­nered with the school board pre­vi­ously for the cre­ation and in­stal­la­tion of bike racks. Hicks said the pre­vi­ous project went so well, the BIA chose to reach out the board again for the benches. The BIA was able to save about $ 22,000 by work­ing with the school board on the two projects.

The benches are coated in var­i­ous vi­brant colours, in­clud­ing red, blue and green. Each bench has a school logo on it to rep­re­sent var­i­ous feeder schools for Notre Dame.

Hicks said the benches look great and add colour to the com­mu­nity, which can change a per­son’s mood for the bet­ter.

Moore said al­though he lives in Port Col­borne, when he does visit Wel­land he can be proud of the work he has put into its down­town. The benches will last a long time, and Moore is look­ing for­ward to en­joy­ing them for years to come.

MICHELLE ALLENBERG/ WEL­LAND TRI­BUNE

A group of Ni­a­gara Catholic District School Board stu­dents and teach­ers stand be­hind one of 10 benches stu­dents built for Wel­land Tran­sit Ter­mi­nal. .

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