The Pirate Project is Underway!
Perry High School students found a new course offering available to them this year, The Pirate Project. The Pirate Project is a course taught by Perry School’s Design and Fabrication Teacher, Mr. Ryan Zusy, where students have been collaborating with each other and industry professionals, including local plumbers, a general contractor, a local HVAC company, and electricians, in order to renovate a house.
Over the summer, the District purchased the project’s property located on 4330 Utah Ct., in Perry. The materials used to fix and update the house have been purchased using grant funds. Grant Coordinator, Jason Tobie, stated, “The EOEC (Expanding Opportunities for Each Child) Grant seeks to expand access to, and promote the development of, career pathway opportunities for low-income or low-achieving students. The Perry House Flip Project is made possible through the grant and the overwhelming community and District support”.
“I think that this is a great opportunity for anyone to experience the trades,” said Chris Sbrocco, who is a master plumber that owns and operates Pro Service Plumbing in Lake County and lends his time to collaborate with the students on the project. “It’s definitely an advantage to students to see if it’s something they want to do, or might not want to do, but all-in-all, understanding what it takes to be a tradesman and what is involved with the building process”.
The renovation site itself is an exciting atmosphere for the students as the real-world environment becomes their new classroom where they can experience hands-on, authentic learning. “This course has pushed me outside my comfort zone so much,” noted sophomore Quintin Bott. “I see myself doing so many things that my younger self would never imagine, maybe even be scared of, and the skills I have learned I would never have had I not taken this class”.
Recently, an exciting new opportunity arose for the project, a partnership with nationally recognized plumbing fixture brand, Moen, which is headquartered in North Olmstead, Ohio. Moen will be providing many of the plumbing fixtures the project free of charge. In the future, students will also tour Moen’s headquarters and meet with their professional advisory board which is made-up of area plumbers.
On December 18th, representatives from Moen joined the students onsite and presented them with smart water fixtures and faucets, Patagonia vests to keep them warm during the winter construction season, and other labor materials including Yeti 5-gallon tool buckets. As if that wasn’t enough, they also brought with them a food truck, Off The Griddle, for the occasion. “When you interact with these students and what they’re doing, and you see their passion and excitement, and you listen to their stories, there’s nothing like that,” said Moen’s Senior Marketing Manager for Single Family New Construction, Tammy Mayle. “It’s good to be here in person and get to feel the excitement myself. I’m blown away. I know that these kids are taking so much with them into whatever career path they decide to choose”.
Students, such as Sophomore, Tyler Croyle, are learning much more than the various skill sets of professional tradesmen. Tyler stated, “Being able to renovate and build our friendship together with the house is something that can’t be done without each other. My plan in the future is to take the course throughout my high school career and be with the family who started it. There is nothing better than being able to bring people together and fix this house”.
“We’ve gone all the way from demolition to now where we’re starting to put up new walls and plan electricity and plumbing,” said, Mr. Zusy. Zusy plans for the house to be completed in the next two years. Once completed, the house will go up for sale with the proceeds going toward the next Pirate Project.