Two benches and four trash receptacles made by students at the Illinois School for the Deaf will soon be gracing the area outside the Governor’s Mansion. The school’s woodworking class, with designs by the school’s drafting class, made two benches and accompanying receptacles over the course of the past three months. They will be placed among the landscaped grounds of the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield. Woodworking teacher James Hatfield said students were given an idea of what the designers wanted before they planned and built the six pieces, which will be taken to the mansion next week. “They’ve gotten a great sense of pride from this project,” Hatfield said. “It was motivating for them to know they were going to be seen at the mansion. A three-year renovation of the Governor’s Mansion was completed this year and it reopened in July as the People’s House. Illinois Forest Products Co., a landscaping company based in Beardstown, is in the process of landscaping around the mansion and asked ISD students to craft the projects for the new design. “They wanted them built in the state, using the state tree, which is white oak [and] ideal for outdoor projects,” Hatfield said. “These will be resistant to rain, rotting and bugs.” While the receptacles were based on taller models, students and the designers from Illinois Forest Products Company decided to make shorter versions that would accompany the benches without overwhelming them. Each class worked on the pieces, while Jovanny Carmona, a senior, drafted the designs for the project. “I enjoyed making the drawings for it,” Carmona said. “It was challenging.” Drafting teacher Dan Snyders said the process the students followed is how a project would be done outside of school as well.
“It’s a good example of what a real world project would be like,” Snyders said. ” You work with other departments. You start with the drawing, using them to create the finished product.” It was also a challenge for Carmona, who had to work with the wood work students to make sure all the measurements were exact. For the students, it was a great experience, Hatfield said. ”It was cool to work with the state to create these,” junior Taylor Mort said. “I was proud to get a project like this.” The students will be visiting the mansion Monday, where they will see the landscaping, receive a tour and deliver their finished products. Junior Trystan Mort said he is excited to see the mansion and where the benches will be placed. “I’m curious what it looks like in the mansion,” Trystan Mort said. “I can’t wait to see where they’ll be and what will be around them.”
Written by: Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1233, or on Twitter