Timberframe structure erected at NNEC thanks to support

ADAM MACINNIS adam.macinnis@ngnews.ca @ngnews



SaltWire Network



A unique donation has resulted in a new structure at North Nova Education Centre and a one-of-a-kind learning opportunity for students. In September 2020, as schools were trying to find a way to do more outdoor learning, an opportunity presented itself in the community, says teacher Andrew Parsons. “At our school, we identified we had a strong background with timber frame construction. Advocate Printing had a frame that they had acquired through an acquisition of another company, and that frame was sitting in a warehouse in Bridgewater,” Parsons said. The wooden frame had been used in displays at tradeshows, but was only used inside. Advocate Printing not only donated the timbers, but trucked them to the school and picked up additional beams to replace some that had been damaged. From there, Parsons and his students took over. There were several damaged joints on the timbers, so using it as a classroom opportunity, Parsons showed students how to repair the damage, and they worked at that throughout the 2020/ 2021 school year. But as soon as the frame was repaired and ready to be put back together, schools were shut down again. The wooden pieces were left outside through the summer of 2021. “It had sustained some damage over the summer, so we had to make those repairs,” Parsons said. That meant a learning opportunity for another class of students. Those repairs were done in the fall of 2021. But every time the school tried to get the building put together, the weather didn’t co-operate. “When we were ready to put it up in November, we had five different days we had to cancel due to high winds and then the very last date we had our first big snowfall of the year,” Parsons said. So it ended up that May 5 was the first day they were finally able to put it all together. Rob Muir of Pictou Landing Crane donated the crane work and then Nova Exteriors donated the manpower to safely piece the project together. Other items were donated by United Rentals. Parsons said he’s thankful for the community support that made the project possible. He hopes that students will walk away with some unique knowledge of using modern tools to perform old techniques. “They had to measure and adapt and then they had to look at what other craftsmen had done in the past to try and guess what the planning was and how to do the repairs.” Incorporated along the way were lessons on physics, building code, teamwork and common sense. Dylan Taylor was one of the students involved in the project. “I loved the complexity of it,” he said. “All of it was really exciting.” Another student, Jeff Quinn, said it was a new experience for him. “It’s pretty cool,” he said. “We’ve been talking about it for a while and picturing it going up, but to actually see it going up is really nice.” On May 6, roofing was added, so it is now ready for use by the school.