THS woodworking class wraps up project for St. Joseph’s Children’s Home


TORRINGTON – On Friday, Sept. 28, the Torrington High School woodworking class wrapped up a major project for St. Joseph’s Children’s Home.

It was a project which started late during the 2021-22 school year, and this year’s class put the finishing touches on redoing the home’s covered wagon.

It proved to be quite the undertaking for first year teacher Rick Sides.

“When I started this year, I inherited the project,” he said. “It’s been an interesting project. I’ve never done anything quite like it. The students have done a great job and have taken pride in their work.”

Sides wasn’t sure when last year’s class started the project but said they had done a lot of work on it already when he took over the project this fall. Sides and former woodworking teacher Chuck Richter have had several conversations about the project.

“They did a lot of work tearing it apart and replacing basically the whole carriage of the wagon with fresh wood,” Sides said.

The biggest challenge Sides’ class faced this fall was replacing the tin top of the wagon.

“It was all falling apart,” he said. “We had to take the tin off the roof, completely separate the pieces, do a little remanufacturing on it and putting it back on top.”

From there, it was a matter of a little cleanup work and a paint job to make it look nice.

Moving forward, the class has several smaller projects in the works. However, Sides said the next major project for the class will give the soccer field next to the high school a major upgrade.

“We have a lot of little projects. Our next project is a couple cornhole games,” Sides said. “Then with any luck, we’ll have to price it out first, we’ll be building a 10x10 crow’s nest for the soccer field.

“One of the things I try to work on with the students is basically taking pride in your work,” he added. “That is one of the biggest things I try to focus on. This is my first year in Torrington, and I’ve been pleased with the students and staff I’ve been working with. It’s been a great experience so far.”

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