First Posted: 11/5/2014
About 13 Dallas High School students were on hand Wednesday for the beginning of the restoration of the cupola from the old Dallas Township School building on Irem Road behind the Back Mountain Little League field. The building, part of the Dallas community since 1962, was torn down earlier this year.
With the use of a crane, the cupola was safely removed from the building and is now in the capable hands of Dallas High School teacher Mark Golden and some of his students.
The students were on hand to witness the pouring of a concrete pad at the site of the former school building on which the restored cupola will sit.
“The idea is to refinish it,” Golden said of the cupola. “We have a 12×12 pad of concrete that it’s going to sit on and there will be landscaping around it when it’s done. Once it gets onto the pad, we’re going have a mason come do some brickwork along the side and then my students are going to finish the rest of it. New trim, molding, things like that, paint the roof. We’ll be doing it on-site throughout the next year and, hopefully, we’ll have it ready by the beginning of the 2016 year.”
According to Dallas Township Supervisor Liz Martin, the school district wanted to retain ownership of the cupola, but agreed that, if the township could get it to the ground, it would be restored.
Golden, who teaches industrial arts, electronics and other hands-on courses at the high school, said the purpose of his students helping is a learning experience.
“Mainly, it’s the opportunity,” he said. “It’s the opportunity for the students to get experience if they’ve never had any experience working with concrete and it’s just a learning experience. The fact that they can sit, watch and learn, that’s what it’s all about.”
Martin is a fan of the students helping with the project.
“I love that the kids are getting involved,” she said. “The kids are learning a whole lot about masonry, construction, all kinds of wood work and everything like that.”
Justin Sherinsky, 16, a junior at Dallas High School, is excited to help with the restoration of the cupola and his uncle even donated a bull float to help smooth the concrete.
Sherinsky said he one day wants to professionally work with construction and the experience he and his classmates will get out of the project will be very helpful.
“I think it’s a cool project to get into with the community,” said Sherinsky. “You can do a lot; you learn a lot of stuff and it’s a great learning experience.”
Sherinsky hopes to be able to help with the cupola project as much as he can.
Currently, there is no definitive plan for the cupola after its restoration is complete, but Martin said there is talk about it serving as a memorial for people who graduated from the school.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Martin. “I would have loved for them to have found a way to save the school, but it’s a piece of our history. There isn’t a whole lot of our history left, so that’s my personal thing, our local history.”