By Beth David, Editor
The Marine Safety Terminal project at Union Wharf in Fairhaven got some help from a unique, mixed crew of town workers and students to get the job done this week.
Harbormaster Timothy Cox said that the grant money, just under $100,000 was not quite enough to run
electrical, water and sewer to the new Marine Safety Terminal. The dock will be available for police, fire and harbormaster boats to have a permanent place to tie up.
The project had the benefit of personnel from the fire department, police department, water, sewer and highway departments, inspection department, and students in the electrical program at New Bedford Regional Vocational-Technical High School.
Volunteers helped with digging ditches, positioning conduit, and running the big equipment. Even Verizon helped, donating and installing a pole.
On Tuesday, students helped dig the ditch and run three rows of PVC conduit to the terminal. Mr. Cox said the extra piping will be there in case there is a need to expand in the future.
Union Wharf is already undergoing some major renovation work, including the installation of all new electrical. The new work will provide electricity to all the boats in the lobster basin, giving each boat its own meter. Shore power will also be available to the big boats that tie up on the west side. That side is closed now for the ongoing refurbishing, which should be done in a few weeks.
Mr. Cox said he worked with Town Administrator Mark Rees to figure out a way to squeeze a little more out of the grant money. The school’s electrical program was quickly on board, he said. All the students were seniors.
Alexis Rodrigues said she had not done that kind of field work before.
“It’s really different,” said Ms. Rodrigues. “It’s good to get out. I think we all liked it a lot.”
Aura Santos agreed.
“I’ve never done underground work before,” she said.
“Even just to see it,” said Kailyn McKenna.
“It’s good experience,” said Robert Pacheco. “It’s something fun for us.”
Joshua Holmes said he did have a little experience with laying pipe because he works with a company through the school’s co-op program.
“But it was still fun to do it,” he said.
Nicholas Leonardo also works co-op, but does not get jobs like that.
“It’s definitely valuable to know,” said Mr. Pacheco, even though it is unusual. “To have the knowledge when you need to apply it.”
Their instructors, Len Gauvin and Keith Kearney, said it worked out well, and the students got real world experience.
Mr. Kearney said they learned about safety in a construction zone, and how to work with other groups, such as the town departments.
“There’s a whole lot going on out here,” he said, adding it was also a good lesson for the students to work together.
“They really came together as a team,” he said. •••
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