PLEASANT LAKE — Some of them just graduated, and others did so decades ago, but none of the former students figured they’d be coming back to Cape Tech. This time, they’re part of the army of skilled tradesmen and women working on the new high school building project.
“A lot of memories,” said Jonas Ayala, looking at his alma mater. A 2012 graduate, Ayala is a laborer with the Harwich-based Robert B. Our Co., which is an important subcontractor on the building project.
“It’s an old building,” fellow laborer Anthony Camerlengo said, looking at the familiar red brick structure that will be torn down next summer. Camerlengo graduated in 2015.
“It was brand new when I was here,” said Glenn Pierce, class of 1978. “I learned a lot of stuff here.” Pierce graduated from the automotive program and got a job working for the Robert B. Our Co. maintaining their vehicles and heavy equipment. While he doesn’t work on the new school building, his vehicles do. “There’s a lot of my work that goes in and out of here,” he said.
“It’s going to be quite the place when it’s done,” said John Devaney, a 1991 graduate of the horticulture program, who also works for Robert B. Our. “I never thought I’d be back to school,” he said with a laugh. Also on the job is Jeff Bassett, who graduated a year ahead of Devaney.
“I’m proud to be part of this,” said Tracy Post, an office worker at Robert B. Our. She graduated in 1990 from the school’s child care program before changing fields. Her company has around 200 employees, a handful of whom studied at Cape Tech. The new school will help train tomorrow’s workers in a variety of high-demand jobs, Post said. “It’s extremely important for our economy.”
Not all of the Cape Tech alums working on the new school are with Robert B. Our. Brandon Servidori, a 2003 graduate of the plumbing program, is a pipefitter with Weymouth-based Harold Brothers Mechanical Contractors. He said he’s proud to be working on the new Cape Tech, “the school that gave me a career. It’s very humbling.”
Harold Brothers works on major construction projects like Cape Cod Hospital and the Cape Cod Mall, and has a handful of employees who live on Cape Cod. He credits his former teachers for giving him the base of knowledge he needed to begin working as a pipefitter.
Camerlengo agrees, saying he remembers Superintendent Bob Sanborn when he was a teacher, not the school’s top administrator.
“He was my baseball coach,” he said with a laugh.
“He believed in me,” Servidori added. As a restless teen, Servidori got off track a few times, but his teachers, particularly Sanborn, didn’t give up. “He saw the best in the worst students,” he said.
Cape Tech graduates are working in well-paying jobs all around the region, and the school is forming a new alumni association. A special event for alumni is scheduled for May 7 at 6 p.m., with reminiscences of the old building and a celebration of the new one. For details, contact Bob Eckel at email@example.com, or call 508-432-4500 ext. 231.
The $102 million project is progressing steadily, and the new structure is expected to be tight to the weather in the weeks ahead. Work will continue through the winter, spring and next summer, when the old school building will be demolished, and the new facility will be ready for students starting classes next September.