School Committee oks house contract for WTA Construction Tech build

WESTFIELD – Westfield Technical Academy Principal Joseph Langone and Construction Technology head Matthew Gomes asked the School Committee Monday to approve a contract to allow students to build a house.

Plans for single family ranch house that WTA Construction Technology students will be building on Pontoosic Road. (Submitted by Matthew Gomes)

Langone said the school got the contract back from the Law Department on Friday. Gomes said the house is a single family ranch that will bring revenue for the program.
“I know you guys have put in a lot to the city, and haven’t been able to take on these revenue projects,” said School Committee member Ramon Diaz, Jr.
Gomes talked about “the amount of pride students have in building any project,” which he said they take with them forever. He also said he could talk at length about every project he’s built.
Before voting on the contract, Kevin Sullivan recused himself due to a conflict of interest. The School Committee then voted for the contract 6-0.
After the meeting, Gomes said the house, which will be built for Mitch Bannish and Karen Bousquet on Pontoosic Road near the Southwick border, will be a 3 bedroom ranch style custom home designed for the homeowners’ needs. Gomes said he drew the plans for the house, something he hopes to start students working on in the future.
Gomes said the last house built by students in Construction Technology was in 2009 on Allen Avenue. He said the Tech shop is looking for another home, garage or addition to build next year. He said owners typically save a minimum of 15% on the projects, by buying all the materials and making a donation to the Westfield Technical Academy. The funds are used to buy tools and also to support the ninth and tenth grade programs. Students are “paid with their experience,” Gomes said.
Students in the Electrical Wiring shop under Gary Martineau will be wiring the house. Martineau was in on the planning as well, Gomes said. He said the project will begin in a few weeks, and he hopes to have it substantially completed by next spring.

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