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Construction Project Serves as Educational Resource

Delta Tour Delta Program students didn’t need a time machine to peek into their future. All it took was swapping their classroom for a construction zone.


On a sunny afternoon, the alternative school’s construction technology class visited the new Delta Program building in progress on the high school campus — part of a State College Area School District plan. The district decided the State High Project should serve as an educational resource, and the Delta tour marked the latest on-site lesson following previous class experiences.


Wearing hard hats, fluorescent vests and safety goggles, 17 middle school students followed their guide, Project Engineer Jon Herzing, learning about construction techniques and materials and gaining glimpses of the eventual home for about 250 students in grades 5-12.


“It was really cool to see behind the scenes,” fifth-grader Spencer Stevenson-Peck says.


Delta’s move from the downtown Fairmount Building is scheduled for next August with the State High Project’s completion.


Before then, there’s work to be done — as the students observed. Saws whined and hammers clinked as Herzing led the class across muddy ground and rudimentary floors awaiting steel and concrete. At various points, he noted where key spaces — the main office, the cafeteria, the technology education room — will emerge, all the while explaining the bustling scene.


An open room prompted him to discuss bringing a crane on site for lifting roof sections. Noting a wall lined with scaffolding and topped by trowel-wielding masons, he emphasized how many hands it takes for construction.


Delta Tour “See the people working with the masons over here building up the wall?” he told the group. “You have metal guys building the joists and deck. You have plumbers putting the pipes in the ground for the bathrooms and drainage, all that stuff. You have electricians wiring up lights back here. So there are all these different people working on all different types of jobs.”


The visit came about after Delta technology education teacher Randy Edelman reached out to Massaro Construction Management Services, the project’s coordinator, so his students could “see what construction is really like.”


“They’re learning about drawing floor plans, doing design basically,” he says. “Right now, they’re designing tiny homes, and eventually we’ll get into model building, where they’ll take a tiny home and build a scale model of it. Hopefully, next semester, they’re going to design and build sets for our musical. So we’re going to try to use construction techniques to build some of the sets.”


Starting with a look at the building blueprints, the class spent about an hour inspecting the skeleton of Delta to come. “It’s just impressive how they’ll make it look like a school out of what it is now,” fifth-grader Paisley Taylor says.


Eighth-grader Nathan Rockower was struck by how organized workers were on the job, while sixth-grader Mathes Miller-Priddy liked seeing “all the different layers of the building.”


“I just think it’s really amazing how everyone is able to put it together so fast,” Miller-Priddy says.


Edelman also enjoyed the experience.


“I was excited to go through it,” he says. “I’ll be excited to come back in the spring and see it.”


By Chris Rosenblum

Photos by Nabil K. Mark

Delta Tour


Delta Tour