WSWHE BOCES CTE Student Built Shed Soon To Become A Saratoga Springs Landmark

In early May, SoBro Conservancy will be planting three large beds full of native, pollinator-friendly perennials and shrubs. The shed will house the garden tools, hoses, and the brains of a timed drip irrigation system. 

The construction trades students helped develop a plan with guidance from Mark Topey and Tom Denny of SoBro Conservancy’s board. They acquired skills using stationary power tools as well as hand power tools. The students learned proper methods of hand tool manipulation (hammering), proper stud placement and layout, rafter layout, cutting, roof finishes and installation, and beveled siding installation. In total 30 students took part in the build.

Construction Trades Instructor John Coffinger said, “the best part of the build was putting the siding and finishing touches on. To see the students' reactions and looks on their faces when they can stand back and take a look at what they have built, I feel a sense of pride knowing that my class built this and their hard work is going to a good cause to help out others.”

Major funding to purchase materials used for the shed construction was provided by the Community Support Program of the Saratoga Springs Rotary Club. The next step is to move the hefty shed to its new home at 209 South Broadway in Saratoga, a triangular parcel at one of Saratoga’s most prominent intersections, where South Broadway and Ballston Avenue meet.  

Tom Denny, the board chair of SoBro Conservancy, said, “we have been so excited to visit the workshop and follow the BOCES students’ progress with our shed. It is a critical piece of our project, providing secure storage for our tools in a public, urban space. Our volunteers will benefit from the work of the BOCES team for many years to come. The students should take great pride in their handsome shed that will be a landmark to the thousands who pass the site each day.”

The mission of SoBro Conservancy is to conserve vacant urban parcels and transform them into pollinator-friendly green spaces, while educating about how such green spaces strengthen the web of life on which human well-being depends. More information can be found at their website, The regreening of 209 South Broadway is the first project undertaken by this 501(c)(3) charitable organization, founded in 2021. The vision is to bring life back to this neglected parcel. Life in the form of a viable habitat for pollinators and songbirds. And life in the form of urban beautification and revitalization that will benefit residents in the neighborhood and businesses along the South Broadway corridor.  

WSWHE BOCES contributes to numerous community projects each year to give its CTE students real world experiences. In addition to construction trades, CTE classes include auto body repair, automotive technology, cosmetology, criminal justice studies, culinary arts and hospitality, early childhood education, environmental conservation and forestry, graphic and visual communications, health occupations, HVAC-R, heavy equipment operation and maintenance, horse care, horticulture, landscaping and floral design, industrial and performance machining, power sport technology, and welding.