HARVARD -- Students at Montachusett Regional Technical Vocational High School saw the product of months of labor last Thursday, when they toured the new Harvard Cable TV Studio.

James Hachey, director of the school's vocational programs, said the experience has been very good for the students.

"It's a great opportunity for our students to reach the competencies for their vocational programs," he said.

An idea that blossomed from volunteers, the studio's creation relied heavily on the plumbing, electrical and construction work the students provided.

Junior Dylan Scott, a masonry student, worked on the stone wall outside the studio entrance. The process included picking out stones and making sure everything fit.

The finished project looks good, he said, and the experience was interesting.

"It's different, it's just a big puzzle," he said.

Junior Joseph Lopez worked on the bathrooms and the heating box that hangs above the entrance door.

He said students worked on the fixtures, the toilet and the sink in the bathrooms, while the heating box only took about two hours of work.

He said the new studio looks great.

"You wouldn't really notice these kinds of things until after you appreciate your work," he said.

Bill Johnson, chair of the Community Cable Access Committee, gave students a bit of history on the project, noting that there was a cable studio in the old Bromfield School 20 years ago.


But budget issues forced HCTV to move out, and the studio eventually ended up at the library in a space that was far too small or narrow for a useful studio, he said.

The only space that was available, he said, was a "dungeon-like" basement.

Standing before the brand new studio -- now far from a dungeon -- Johnson handed out plaques to the students and their instructors for their work.

He highlighted a number of community members who also contributed, from the Garden Club that created the garden near the entry, to the facilities crew at Bromfield who helped carry thousands of pounds of floor tiles.

Bromfield Principal Jim O'Shea told the students they did an incredible job. He remembered the initial days when the plumbing and mason crews came to the site, some jackhammering for hours.

"It was hard work; you guys know it was hard work," he said. "But over these months, we've seen this place develop and we hope that you've gotten as much out of this as we're going to get."

O'Shea presented a plaque to Johnson himself, noting that it took someone with dedication and a vision to overcome all the obstacles of the project.

"He has made sure that this program has stayed on track," O'Shea said of Johnson. "Our community is going to benefit greatly from what you've done."

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