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Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute Electrical program gives back to their community

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The students of Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute Electrical program gained a world of hands on experience while learning what it means to give back to their community.  The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut has recently undergone a major renovation to its space located at 287 Main Street in Danbury.  As with any nonprofit organization, budget and funding always falls well short of the need and dream of most projects.  Under the direction of Lisa Scails, Executive Director, the Alliance was able to see the dream of their turn of the century gallery space returned to its once great splendor with the original tin pan ceilings exposed and restored. 
 
 The students of Ridley-Lowell, under the guidance of their instructors Philip Adams, Dave Coelho , and Leonard Corso were tasked with jobs such as removing old lighting, tracing and removing phone and computer cables that were no longer in use, and removing wires that were left hanging by the previous tenant. “In the electrical program, we prepare students for the field by studying codes and standards out of text books, then taking it to the lab to test and reinforce the concepts. This goes much further. In a real world environment the students get to see things go wrong and learn how to correct them on the fly.” said Philip Adams Lead Electrical Instructor.
 
When Ridley was first brought onto the project, it was uncertain how much the students would be able to do with the demands of the course work but as the job came to a close it was clear the contribution was priceless. Dave Coelho said, “The class got to do little projects that they never would have seen in the lab. They worked with drills and rulers making sure that the holes fell inside the walls for outlets that had to be relocated to meet the needs of the space”.
 
Between the day and evening classes, the students and instructors logged over 400 man hours in the space working on tasks including demolition, wiring, sheetrock repair and painting. The time and energy was volunteered with the sole purpose of improving the space so the rich artistic energy that the greater Danbury area is known for can be shared and enjoyed by all. 
 
Article written by Phillip Adams
 
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