Seaway Intermediate and District High School’s shop class has become a “dust-free” zone. Well, as close to “dust-free” as possible at this point.
The sawdust collector was a summer addition and, as UCDSB Manager of Design and Construction, Peter Bosch, explained, part of the Ministry of Education’s Regular School Renewal Capital program.
Seaway was chosen for the project because of the need. The old system was, in fact, “really old” and, in addition, it “wasn’t working well.”
The sawdust collector – (yes, they really do call it that) – is a vacuum that draws in the sawdust and wood bits, sending them directly to an enclosed bin outside the school. In addition to being attached to the machines directly, there are also loose vacuum hoses. The machines will not run unless the vacuum has been turned on.
Seaway Principal Terry Gardiner explained that it “modernizes the wood-shop construction classroom.”
In addition to keeping the room relatively clean, it provides a safer and more air-friendly environment for students. “Not only is it a newer one, but it’s much safer,” said Bosch.
Bosch told the Leader that the sawdust collector cost approximately $194,000 in total from removing the old unit to completing the installation of this newer unit.
According to Gardiner, the sawdust collector “fits well with Seaway’s direction to encourage students for all pathways.”
“All students benefit: (those interested in) architecture, design, engineering, or hands on programming.”
In addition to the new dust-collector, Bosch also revealed that in 2010 Seaway was one of the schools retrofitted to “reduce carbon footprint.” The T12 fluorescent lights were replaced with T8’s, which provide a more natural light. This change alone reduces energy consumption and prevents toxic chemicals.
UCDSB received a rebate cheque through the Ministry of Education’s Energy Efficiency – Small Equipment Grant for replacing the T12 lighting.