NORTH NORWICH – For the first time in Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego BOCES’ history, a major re-design and expansion is quickly changing the landscape at the North Norwich facility.
After breaking ground in May, contractors for the $48 million project got started on the inside of the building. By the time students entered in September, transformations throughout could already be seen. For starters, the cosmetology, environmental conservation and auto body departments now have state-of-the-art equipment as well as custom- designed, upgraded classrooms.
Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services Marki L. Clair-O’Rourke explains the classrooms are designed to reflect what the students will encounter once they enter the workforce. Clair-O’Rourke said she would not hesitate to compare the cosmetology salon to those that can be found in New York City. Assistant Superintendent of Management Services Dave Blom agrees, saying, “The kids can get used to working in a much higher quality atmosphere and when entering the workforce, they will not be out of their element.”
The cosmetology studio is now equipped with a state-of-the-art classroom that’s home to a stage platform for instruction, a lab designed similar to a professional salon and the salon itself, which is open to the public on Thursdays. The public can now take advantage of extended services the students can provide, including haircuts, manicures, pedicures and more.
The environmental conservation classroom, serving approximately 70 students daily, has also been expanded. As a result, storage areas have been improved to house smaller equipment, a new ventilation system has been put in and locker rooms have been added.
The students in the conservation class have also had a hand in laying some of the groundwork for the building project. The students built the additional parking lot to the side of the building, helped with landscaping and are set to begin building a muti-purpose playing field this spring over a new geothermal field. “The geothermal technology will allow the ground to heat and cool the entire building, including the additions,” said Blom.