Grand Island students are learning how to build things from concept to reality

GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) – Imagine knowing how to design and build a rock wall or a kayak by the time you graduate from high school? Many students at Grand Island High School do.

A tech program is teaching them how to bring things, such as an arcade basketball game, from concept to reality.

“We’ve built four player ping pong tables, bridges…anything that we can think of,” Caleb Stallard, a senior at Grand Island High School said.

“We’ve designed a lot of houses. We built a metal studded wall and entryways. We’ve done a lot of cool stuff,” Alexis Gallup, another senior said.

The tech wing has opened up a lot of opportunities for students and teachers.

Originally, tech classes were taught in a confined space. The ceiling used to be about 9 feet tall, now it’s double the size. “That gives them the ability to go vertical on a lot of the projects that they’re doing. For example, there’s a climbing wall. That would never fit into a typical classroom,” Bill Zografos, a vice president at CannonDesign said.

The classrooms flow into a fusion space where everyone can collaborate and work together on architecture or engineering projects.

“We’re able to provide more seats to students. We’re able to provide more technology to students. Things that a lot of other schools don’t have, (such as) plasma cutters, laser engravers and 3D printers,” Michael Carter, the assistant principal at Grand Island High School said.

Students say it has really helped them know the tools and how to bring ideas to life.

The tech wing was part of the school’s capital improvement project. It cost about $5 million to complete.

Many students told us it was worth it. It has even changed their whole outlook on what careers they may choose.

“I used to be really into art. Now I’m leaning more towards architecture,” Stallard said.

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