Article: Vantage Career Center Construction Students Revitalize Shane's Park

Vantage Career Center Construction Students Revitalize Shane's Park

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     Construction Equipment Technology seniors from Vantage Career Center have taken on a transformative renovation project at Shane's Park in Rockford, Ohio. This undertaking not only showcases the students' skills and dedication, but also breathes new life into a piece of local history.
     Shane's Park holds a special place in the hearts of Rockford residents. Originally the site of a campground, over the years it has evolved into a community sanctuary where local families can gather together to relax and celebrate one another.
     On a portion of the property, stands two structures, a gazebo and bridge, both of which were constructed as an Eagle Scout project in the early 2000s. Over time, the structures had weathered, with the wood showing signs of decay, and community members made a call to the Vantage Construction Equipment Technology seniors who stepped up to the challenge, acknowledging the importance of preserving the historical significance of the park.
     The primary focus of the project was to address the deterioration of the wooden structures. Armed with their knowledge of construction equipment technology, the seniors removed peeling and the faded stain by power washing both structures top to bottom, removed the cedar shakes from the bridge roof, and replaced weathered lumber including the ramps, deck boards, and handrails. The students also replaced the missing asphalt shingle ridge cap on the gazebo and removed several feet of concrete sidewalk in preparation to replace both wooden gazebo ramps. Equipment used during the structure overhaul was a Bobcat Skid steer and concrete mixer attachment to pour both ADA ramps. The structures were then sanded and prepared for a new stain. These Vantage students meticulously breathed new life into the park. This effort not only ensures the continued celebration of the park's history, but also presents the community with a revitalized space to enjoy for years to come.
     The impact of the Vantage Career Center seniors' efforts extends beyond the physical transformation of Shane's Park. The project has fostered a sense of pride and community spirit, with locals coming together to appreciate the dedication and hard work of the students. The revitalized park now stands as a testament to the collaboration between generations, showcasing the commitment of the present to preserving the legacy of the past. “Village employees were instrumental in obtaining and providing the necessary materials promptly and were exceptional in accommodating our needs as plans changed during construction by deciding to upgrade the wooden ramps to concrete,” says Instructor Chris Miles. “During the renovation, students faced school delays, closings, academic obligations, and rain delays. While the cold weather was quickly approaching, students were running out of days with temperatures suitable for staining. Select Junior Construction Equipment Technology students participated in speeding the project along to ensure the structures were prepared and stained before freezing temperatures finally set in for the winter season.”
     The significance of Shane's Park extends beyond its physical structures. It is a symbol of community spirit and a testament to the commitment of individuals, including the Eagle Scout from the 2000s, who dedicated their time and effort to enhance the town's recreational spaces. By preserving and renovating these structures, Vantage Career Center seniors are contributing to the ongoing narrative of Rockford, ensuring that future generations can appreciate the town's history and the efforts of those who came before them.
     The Vantage Career Center Construction Equipment Technology seniors have not only renovated Shane's Park in Rockford but have also breathed new life into a cherished community space. By taking on this project, they have demonstrated the power of skilled craftsmanship, community engagement, and a commitment to preserving local history. Shane's Park will continue to be a gathering place for Rockford residents, celebrating the past while embracing the future.

Photos of the renovation project can be found here.

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