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CARPENTRY PROGRAM ENTERS NONPROFIT AGENCY’S ECO-CHALLENGE
CARPENTRY PROGRAM ENTERS NONPROFIT AGENCY’S ECO-CHALLENGE
Posted on 02/13/2018
CARPENTRY PROGRAM ENTERS  NONPROFIT AGENCY’S ECO-CHALLENGE

Jonathan Suero, left, and Luke Boucher, right, both sophomores and Pepperell, with help from instructor Jonathan Pryor, measure the furniture they received from The Furniture Trust as part of the Eco-Carpentry Challenge, in which the Carpentry program must take the used furniture and repurpose it into something workable.

Students in the Carpentry program at Nashoba Valley Technical High School are learning not only to build structures but also to build a cleaner environment.

The Carpentry/Cabinetmaking program at the Westford-based school has entered this year’s eighth annual Eco-Carpentry Challenge, which promotes resourcefulness and recycling, and provides an opportunity for students to develop their creative carpentry skills while demonstrating their commitment to recycling.

The challenge, sponsored by The Furniture Trust, tasks students in carpentry classes across Massachusetts to take used office furniture, provided by the trust, and refashion it into a new product, using woodworking and metal tools, hardware, sandpaper, paint and other materials. The used furniture can be cut, planed and drilled to the particular project’s specifications. There are no requirements or themes — the contest encourages teams of up-and-coming carpenters to be unrestrictedly creative.

When finished, Nashoba Tech’s project will be picked up and brought to District Hall in Boston, where all projects will be on display Thursday, May 10.

“They take all this old office furniture and, rather than landfill it, they have carpentry students repurpose it for nonprofit organizations,” said Jonathan Pryor, one of the school’s Carpentry instructors.

In addition to receiving old furniture, each team entered into the contest receives a gift card to Home Depot to purchase items necessary to fulfill their project.

Pryor said this is the first time Nashoba Tech has taken on the eco-challenge, and he expects the project to expand beyond the Carpentry program and to also include students in the automotive and Advanced Manufacturing programs.

“We’ll try and collaborate as much as we can and get other programs involved,” he said. “This seems like a real worthwhile project.”

Ten schools have signed on for this year’s Eco-Carpentry Challenge. At the May 10 event in Boston, a panel of judges comprising industry professionals will review the final projects, choose the winners in certain categories, and present monetary awards.