CTE Campus Project

CTE Classes Complete Campus Drainage Project
Posted on 06/25/2024
Students in our CTE Conservation and Heavy Equipment Operation programs completed an on-campus drainage project this spring through an exciting collaboration with our Building Services team.

Building Services had observed drainage issues in one area of campus near the T1 bus loop, created by overgrown tree roots. The campus maintenance crew approached the two classes, which routinely complete landscaping and facilities maintenance projects on and off campus, about partnering on the effort. 
“This was so good for the students because it wasn’t a mockup project,” Heavy Equipment Operation Instructor Hans Hendrick said. “It’s so similar to any municipal job or state job they might get to be on. It’s the same procedures, and a real-world application of their skill set.”

The core work of the project took about six weeks from start to finish.

The Conservation program started the project by cutting down and cutting up several large trees from the project area, then worked with the Heavy Equipment classes to move the cut wood to a different location.

Heavy Equipment students had to learn to remove large tree stumps and their intricate root systems so that the work could proceed. They also had to identify where the water was supposed to be draining because that path had been diverted. During these steps, students were working very close to buildings, which offered a valuable lesson in worksite awareness while digging.

“This gave them an opportunity to practice digging close to utilities and pipework,” Facilities Coordinator Matt Schreppel said. “You can’t just go crazy and start ripping and tearing. You have to work methodically to not damage the pipes currently in the ground and work with a spotter.”

HEO studentWith the trees removed, the Heavy Equipment classes shifted their focus to digging up the area needed to repair the pipes, which extended all the way to the parking lot. The group padded the pipes in gravel, leveled them using a transit level, constructed and shaped a drainage swale, and pitched the site to the swale so the water would flow through a cobble wall to a sediment basin. The cobble wall serves as a filter that removes debris. The group also added some large boulders around the site for safety.

Graphic Design students documented the project through photos and videos to add an additional layer to the CTE collaboration.

The students' professionalism has left the door open for future collaborations to beautify and maintain campus.

“This is the first year that we’ve really brought these students in to make this BOCES a better place,” Facility Specialist Mike Schoen said. “It gives them a lot more pride in this place, and it’s something we want to continue coordinating.”