On Tuesday December 10, 2019, in a second technology-oriented community service project, a group of students from Dorchester Career and Technology Center enrolled in the Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) class and the Construction and Management program with Mr. Mark Preziosi performed a full survey and measurements of existing conditions at the Wallace building located on Gay Street. With the sidewalk survey program already in place, the same agreement between Dorchester County Public Schools and the City of Cambridge was used for this project.
This initiative was spurred by the need to document historic buildings in Cambridge, and is part of a grant application from George Vojtech, Chair of the Historic Preservation Commission, and in charge of the restoration of the Wallace Building. As a licensed architect, city employee Herve Hamon is able to work in tandem with Mr. Preziosi and provide the DCTC students with valuable insight on how to document the existing conditions, how the building is constructed, and what to look for when the measurements will be transferred in CADD.
One of the DCTC students, Mikayla Foreman has expressed her desire to become an architect, and the other students all have interest in construction or engineering. This practical application of field observation, translated later in the classroom with technology into documentation of an historic building, is a most efficient and effective way to make the use of engineering and design software a real and tangible tool.
This represents the vision Superintendent Dave Bromwell presented for the future of Cambridge and the involvement of its youth into programs that focus on the city’s challenges and assets.
Both Mr. Preziosi and Mr. Hamon hope that this exercise will provide an invaluable insight into potential careers for the students, as well as giving them a strong reference for their resume when applying for internship jobs in the construction and design field. In the future, there will be a collection of drawings of historic buildings that were created by our high school students, available at the Visitor Center and titled “The history of Cambridge as drawn by its high school students”.
As the DCTC students refine their technical skills and prepare for their professional contribution to society, the City of Cambridge benefits from their engagement and interest for local issues concerning the entire community.