CTC students build scale model of East Providence City Hall for Winterfest display


EAST PROVIDENCE - East Providence Career and Technical Center construction class students have once again built a submission for use throughout the season at the Recreation Department "Winterfest" display, which opens Saturday, Dec. 7, on the Senior Center grounds off Waterman Avenue.

Two years after building a model replica of the Looff Carousel, the EPCTC pupils, under the direction of teacher Tom Galligan, have built a scale version of East Providence. The model measure eight feet long by four feet wide by three feet high.

The majority of the model was constructed during the 2012-13 school year as part of Mr. Galligan's blue print tutorial. Students traveled to City Hall to measure the structure, including windows and doors. Public Works staff engineer Kevin Croke provided the actual blue prints of the building, which the students used to build a scale based on 5/8ths and one-inch measurements.

Mr. Galligan said about 12 students were primarily responsible for building the model, which took about a month's worth of class time. Several others helped with odds and ends, including the final painting that has taken place since the start of the 2013-14 term.

School Committee member Tony Ferreira, who plies his trade in the construction industry, assisted the project by having the brick facade of the City Hall model made of bendable "Wacky Wood" used in the boat building cut by a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine, a high tech unit noted for its precision.

Mr. Galligan also tasked his students with conjuring ideas on what other materials they could use. Black foam home weatherstripping was used to form molding for the model windows. Imitation pearls were used to top the three flag poles that rest on the roof of the rounded shell of the Council Chamber.

"This was a pretty good project for the kids. There were a lot of small details they had to figure out. They had to get a little creative," Mr. Galligan said of the intricacy of the project. "It's the little things that make it cool. The kids really got into it."

Looking ahead, Mr. Galligan said plans are already in the works for next year's Winterfest submission. Scale models of either the Pomham Rocks Lighthouse or Pierce Memorial Stadium are being considered.


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.