PITTSBURGH (KDKA0 — Soldiers and Sailors Hall in Oakland has stood the test of time for more than a century. So has the auditorium. But the steps?
“They’re unsafe, that’s the main thing,” says Soldiers and Sailors CEO John McCabe.
He added that repairs can be costly for a nonprofit like Soldiers and Sailors.
“So anything we can get for free, we try to,” he says. “But in turn, we’re also giving back by allowing classes to have a working subject.”
Those classes are at the Beattie Career Center in Allison Park.
“We chose a few students who were interested in this project, wanted to be more involved in the community with a project like this, and wanted to improve on their skills of stair building,” says carpentry teacher Eric Carlini.
Meanwhile, a computer-driven sheet metal cutter creates star-shaped patterns for railings, fabricated by students in the heating, ventilating and air conditioning class.
Railings then go to the auto body shop, where students apply a base coat of white paint.
“Our kids basically do the auto body repairs,” says teacher Pat Ciccone. “So refinishing is one of our skills that the kids refine here, so it’s something we were able to add to the project.”
Years later, Carlini says, “I know they’re going to do this, take their grandchildren down to Soldiers and Sailors, and say, ‘See that set of stairs? I built that when I was a student at Beattie.'”