Eighteen months in the making, Atwater High School has new fencing around its swimming pool, thanks to a cooperative effort between staff members and agriculture mechanics students.
Dave Gossman, a teach in the agriculture department, said the school’s swimming pool area needed to be enhanced in terms of aesthetics and serving guests and others.
“A ‘vision’ was created in adding a landscaped area inside the pool area as well as a new fence,” Gossman said. Initial quotes for the project were $45,000 to $50,000 until FFA and ag mechanics students got involved. That reduced the price tag to $18,000, which was covered through the campus budget and donations.
“This campus beautification project is a perfect example of how students and staff work together to provide students with relevant projects that will be enjoyed by all for years to come,” Principal Alan Peterson said.
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Peterson lauded teachers Sam Meredith, Marcus Metcalf and David Svendson along with chief custodian John Sanchotena and district maintenance chief Ron Perez for their work on the project.
“The AHS ag mechanics program, FFA and the AHS water polo program worked collaboratively to produce this expanded pool area and beautiful fencing,” Peterson said. “Not only do they (staff) and the skilled students do professional-grade work, they volunteered many hours to complete the project. They take pride in the work and their programs. It was a complete team effort.”
Gossman said the project took 18 months – six months in planning and a year in construction. The primary work was done by two staff members and students Erik Montanez, Matt Parker, Joseph Kamesch and Joe Flores.
Meredith praised his students’ work.
“Our AHS agriculture mechanics students can complete any job and do so with pride and professionalism,” Meredith said. “All students involved in the project spent numerous hours outside of the school hours through their summer vacation and continued after school through the start of school and fall.
“This type of project demonstrates how well we are preparing students for real-life, practical applications that will enable them to be successful when they complete their high school education and further their education and job training after graduating from AHS,” he said.
Students are able to showcase their knowledge and skills in a project that will last many years and improves the school, Meredith said.