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Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School will be able to provide its students with enhanced opportunities to gain authentic work experiences with the help of a recent funding award.

Essex Tech was awarded a $100,000 grant by the Cummings Foundation to support several renovation projects on its Danvers campus in which carpentry, masonry, electrical, plumbing and heating ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration students will be actively participating in the work, according to Essex Tech Superintendent Heidi Riccio.

The projects will begin July 1 and take two to three years. One involves reconstructing the historic Catherine Larkin Memorial Practice Cottage, which is being converted to a multi-use facility on campus that will include a historical museum, a service kitchen, office space, an exhibit hall, a learning lab, and function space. Other projects include major renovations to the second floor of Smith Hall to create new classrooms; and an overhaul of the alumni gymnasium/performance center to make it more usable and energy efficient.

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Once completed, the projects will provide Essex Tech with added space for both technical education programs and academics, allowing it to increase student enrollment and provide meeting and training spaces for community organizations.

In addition to gaining real-life experiences in their trades, participating students will learn about green energy strategies, which will be employed in the projects. Students will earn credits towards their technical licensures and those working during the summers also will receive pay.

“We’re thrilled to get these projects started and look forward to the positive impact they’ll have on current and future students, faculty, staff and our community at large,” Riccio said in a statement.


John Laidler can be reached at laidler@globe.com.