Franklin Tech dedicates pavilion at Swift River School

  • Franklin County Technical School carpentry students built this pavilion and tables at Swift River School in New Salem. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Franklin County Technical School carpentry instructor Michael Nobrega speaks during a dedication of the new pavilion built at Swift River School in New Salem. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 10/14/2021 4:44:48 PM

NEW SALEM — Students with Franklin County Technical School’s carpentry program rolled up their sleeves to build picnic tables and a pavilion at Swift River School, and they stopped by Thursday morning for a dedication.

Michael Nobrega, instructor of the carpentry program, spoke under the structure and commended the roughly 30 students present for their work, which began in April and ended in June.

“It turned out to be a really nice way to come out of the year of COVID, where we did not have any projects and a lot of our students were in a hybrid mode of learning,” Nobrega began.

He explained first-year students built the seven picnic tables in a miniature factory set up at Franklin Tech and the Class of 2023 constructed the pavilion on site, working out of two large construction trailers parked near an outdoor basketball hoop at Swift River School. The pavilion is 16 feet wide, 24 feet long and roughly 12 feet high, with a metal roof, pressure-treated framing and manufactured trusses.

Swift River School Principal Kelley Sullivan addressed the Franklin Tech students and expressed her school’s appreciation for their efforts.

“Thank you all so much for all your hard work on our pavilion. This was a huge goal that we had for several years,” she said, also thanking them for being good, inspiring role models to Swift River students. Sullivan said her students have eaten lunch and snacks under the pavilion since the academic year started on Sept. 1 and the after-school program uses it as well.

The principal explained her school had entered a contest held by Big Y, and though Swift River didn’t win, it still received $5,000 from the supermarket chain to support the construction project. Swift River also chipped in $5,000 from its budget, Nobrega told the Greenfield Recorder.

Franklin Tech Superintendent Richard Martin congratulated the students on a job well done and said these types of collaborations are what the school “is all about.”

The first-year students also built roughly 10 wooden benches that are scattered around Swift River School’s playground.

A wooden plaque was made to commemorate when the project was finished, and siblings and technical school students Zachary and Bianca Serrell volunteered to install it. Bianca mentioned she and her brother are Swift River School alumni.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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