WESTFORD – The softball team at Nashoba Valley Technical High School will find itself in more comfortable surroundings next season.
On June 14, the school unveiled new dugouts for the home and visiting teams at the field, built by students in the Carpentry program, with supplies donated by Concord Lumber.
After the baseball team got swank new accommodations last year, it was the softball team’s turn. School Committee member Chris Prehl of Ayer decided to seek donations of lumber so that Carpentry students could have the experience of building the dugouts themselves.
As Prehl likes to say of prospective donors, “The worst they can tell you is no.”
Enter Jonathan Peckham, a division manager for Concord Lumber from Shirley whose daughter, Abigail, happens to be a student at Nashoba Tech and a member of its softball team. He did not say no.
According to Prehl, “Jonathan was the one I contacted to get the donation done.”
“Chris reached out to see what the possibility was of the store donating to the school’s Carpentry Department, so I told him to put together a list,” Peckham said,
Carpentry instructors Robert Baratta and Jose Fernandes were happy to compile that list, and once the winter was over and the ground softened up enough, students were pouring the footings for the dugouts.
“It’s real-life experience,” Baratta said. “They built them from the footings all the way up.”
Fernandes said freshmen and sophomores did most of the work.
“It’s great because they normally wouldn’t be able to do something like this,” he said.
The instructors said each dugout took about two-and-a-half weeks to build, give or take a day depending on the weather.
“It’s something to be proud of,” Peckham said. “The students did a great job building something that’s going to be here for years to come.”
“And it’s a great partnership for our school and the students,” Prehl said. “It’s an eye-opener for them to see these types of partnerships that exist between Nashoba Tech and the different companies out there that support the school.”
Carpentry students and softball players at Nashoba Tech proudly display the new home dugout for the softball field. At far left are School Committee member Chris Prehl of Ayer, softball coach Dan Ford and Jonathan Peckham of Concord Lumber, which donated the supplies for the dugouts.