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By Michelle Allenberg, Tribune Staff, November 14, 2017
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 real-world 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.