WESTFIELD – Matthew Gomes, Construction Technology instructor at Westfield Technical Academy, expressed his gratitude this week to two local businesses from Westfield and Williamsburg for a much needed donation.
“With Covid-19, the state and local governments have had to make dramatic cuts to spending and our shop budget has seen substantial reductions. When we needed it most, Ponders Hollow Custom Flooring and Millwork and Lashway Lumber Service and Custom Drying stepped forward and donated nearly 1,500 board feet of beautiful clear pine lumber valued at over $3,000,” said Gomes.
Gomes said the lumber will be used by the students to make cabinetry and furniture projects as part of the regular curriculum.
“It has been wonderful to be back in the building live and in person with our shop students,” Gomes said, adding that all of the students have returned and a full class of freshmen are now doing exploratory weeks in all of the shops.
“Every aspect of life these days seems to be challenging and complex, but being back in the shop feels like home. There have been changes to our routines to include lots of social distance, wearing masks, cleaning, and sanitizing, but we are back together and making sawdust again – and the students have been doing a great job at keeping each other safe and adjusting to the changes,” he said.
Later this fall, the shop plans to start new house construction in Westfield with the juniors and seniors, a project that has been in the planning stage for a couple of years.
“It’s been an interesting year,” Gomes said. ”If anyone out there needs to renew their faith in humanity, they can look no further than the Lashway Family, Ponders Hollow, and Lashway Lumber, who came through for our students with their thoughtfulness and generosity,” he added.