2017’s Platt Build grads, with O&G team and Platt High staff
Four years, 60 students and 40 sessions after it all started in 2013 at the Orville H. Platt High School in Meriden, the final class graduated from the Platt Builds Program.
Platt Builds began when the school’s Guidance and Personalized Learning Experience staff approached the O&G team rebuilding the facility. They wanted to somehow turn the construction that was beginning all around them into a learning opportunity for any interested students.
Project Manager Dave Cravanzola, with Project Superintendent Steve Baranello and Project Engineer Evan Nelson, were enthused and ran with the charge. They put together a monthly program that evolved as the construction advanced through its four years. “We wanted this to be a living laboratory for the kids,” said Cravanzola.
Students learned about all phases and types of construction – architecture and design, site work, masonry, carpentry, HVAC, electrical, finishes and the like – as they saw them applied in their new school. The O&G team made a point of having every speaker include their own story, telling students how they came to a career in the construction field as a way of encouraging the kids. (One Platt Builds senior, in fact, will begin in the Construction Management Program at Central Connecticut State University this fall.)
“If I had this kind of opportunity when I was their age,” says Cravanzola, “I’d have taken it in a heartbeat.”
At their final meeting, after a recap of the year’s learning, all enjoyed a graduation ceremony with certificates, tee shirts, pizza and a cake