Students build guidance office suite

A vo-tech school has its own built-in labor force and Whittier Tech students and their teachers recently showed exactly how that works.

Last April, 25 juniors and seniors jumped in to build a new office suite for the school’s Guidance Department. Carpentry students tore down walls, nailed up framing, and sheet rocked the walls in a former conference space, while electrical students took over the wiring. Masonry students bricked in old doorways and windows and next came HVAC students to install the heating and air conditioning ducts.

The new office space was designed by CAD Instructor Scott Robertson and Seniors Kelsi Leary and Hayley Codair. The school’s maintenance crew put on the finishing touches over the summer to make sure it was complete for opening day.

It includes offices for four counselors, one director, an administrative assistant, school psychologist and an adjustment counselor. Before the remodel, most of them had been crowded into the school’s main office area that includes the principal’s office and special education offices.

“The kids feel a lot more comfortable here,” said Guidance Counselor James Carlson. “It gives them a hub where they can come and everyone they need is here. They don’t have to sit next to a parent who is waiting for an IEP meeting or someone who is here for a job interview.”