Construction has commenced on another building on the campus of Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School. The new heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) facility will train students for careers in that field. Tech school superintendent Robert A. Dutch said it is a course of study that the school has not offered to date. Mr. Dutch said the new HVAC program is in answer to requests he has received from within the industry for trained workers.
The Bourne Planning Board unanimously approved plans for the new building at the board’s meeting last Thursday evening, January 26. Mr. Dutch said that construction on the facility began the day after the board gave its approval. He said that the foundation would be poured this week, and the building is expected to be completed in time for the start of the new school year in September.
Mr. Dutch said that when the school built its new Information Technology building last summer, they had to contract out installation of the facility’s heating and air conditioning. He said that the contractors told him they would have difficulty meeting the school’s timeline for installation.
“They said they did not have enough workers. They also said they were hoping we would start a program,” he said.
Mr. Dutch said that he has also been approached by David A. Augustinho of the Cape & Islands Workforce Investment Board. Mr. Augustinho spoke of feedback he has received from the HVAC community about the need for training young people for careers in HVAC, and a program at the school would help satisfy that need. He added that a Upper Cape Tech program would also be beneficial to either train or retrain adults for the HVAC industry, Mr. Dutch said.
Mr. Dutch said that the new facility will cost $600,000 to build. He said that money will come from the school’s own revenue-generating programs. There will not be any cost passed on to residents of the towns that send students to UCT—Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, Wareham and Marion.
The location of the new 5,000-square-foot building is directly behind the campus’s main building and to the right of the baseball diamond. The new building will hold two shop areas and a classroom. Teaching students HVAC will be a new program for the school and that requires state approval of the curriculum. Mr. Dutch said that the school is in the process of applying to the state for program approval.
He said that the project still requires plumbing and electrical permits from the town. A building permit has already been issued by Bourne Building Inspector Roger M. Laporte, Mr. Dutch said. The school has also already received approval from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection regarding its wastewater treatment facility.
Wastewater needs are based on student population and the school is not expected to increase the size of its student body, which is currently 723 students. The school’s wastewater treatment facility can serve up to 900 students, Mr. Dutch said.
Planning board member Steven J. Strojny said the project was universally welcomed by his colleagues. He noted that students will be involved in the designing of the building. Site plans also show that students will be designing the building’s landscaping. Mr. Strojny said that student involvement will not include “swinging any hammers.”
“Everybody likes UCT and the service they provide and the students they turn out, so it was pretty much a slam dunk,” he said.
Also at last week’s meeting, the board approved plans for Seakers furniture store to move into the building at 111 Main Street. The building formerly housed Antique Affair, which closed for business in 2015. Seakers is a furniture restoration specialist that offers furniture repair and refinishing services. Mr. Strojny said that the planning board’s chief concern was whether owner Diane Annen-Benson would be putting anything on display outside the store to entice customers.
“We don’t want it looking like a yard sale every day,” he said.
Mr. Strojny said the board agreed to revisit the business’s needs after it has been open for six months. Town Planner Coreen v. Moore said the business likely would want to open as soon as possible since it has already moved out of its space in Wareham on Cranberry Highway.
In other planning board news, a request for a change of use at 1 Bluff Road in Sagamore from a commercial use to mixed use was continued to the board’s meeting next Thursday, February 9. Plans for the new Hampton Inn hotel that is part of the proposed multi-use complex at 25 Perry Avenue are also expected to be presented at that meeting.