O-A Schools get a helping hand
10/11/2012 (Updated 6:46:17 PM)(Source: Travis Eldridge)
OWEGO, NY -- Just weeks after FEMA finalized plans to replace four buildings the Owego-Apalachin School District lost in the flood, students from a college hours away are giving an additional hand to help in the rebuilding.
"I mean I wouldn't rather do anything else right now. Just learning a lot about what I want to do and getting better every day," said Joe Bryan, a freshman at Alfred State.
Those are the goals of almost any college student, but what makes this group unique is that this coursework is providing much needed help to the Owego-Apalachin schools. Instead of sitting in the classroom on their campus about two hours west of Owego, these kids are helping to clear out and maintain a creek behind the O-A schools.
"This is the main runoff for the mountain thats on the other side of 96," said Ron Bieber, the head building mechanic for O-A Schools. "It carries a lot of water, and without this being maintained, it would probably flood our schools again."
Keeping the creek clear is one of the major factors in keeping the flood waters away from the Owego-Apalachin schools, so getting some free help is a big boost.
"For them to bring these kids down and really clean it out good," said Bieber. "It makes a big difference for our crew."
With tight school budgets it's work the district really couldn't afford to contract someone to do, and it's a huge task for a small department who's maintenance building was flooded out.
Last year students spent a week at the site clearing it out after the flood hit. This time around, it's mostly just cleaning up and leveling off work they did a year ago. A task that may mean a lot to the district, but it's also a great opportunity for the students as well.
"I've already got a lot more experience this week than I've got in a while," said Bryan. "I've got a lot better this week at a lot of stuff."
In this case, one school's mess is another student's training ground.
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