DIXFIELD – When technology instructor Jeff Druzba started teaching this past fall at Dirigo Middle School, he shared classroom space with the shop class.

That dusty and noisy environment, however, wasn’t conducive to working at the technology center’s 16 computer terminals. Nor was the cramped space and its terminal island attractive to students.

“We started the year with three rolling chalkboards lined up as a wall this fall,” Druzba said. “I had equipment coming in and I had the computers organized in an island.

There were 16 computers compacted into a room half the size of what it is now. It was getting difficult.”

But all that changed in December, thanks to industrial arts instructor Craig Coulthard, his son and some of Coulthard’s students.

They worked after school and over some evenings, splitting off a portion of the shop classroom and built a long, floor-to-ceiling wall, complete with three large windows.

“I don’t know if it ever would have gotten done, but Craig took the initiative and did it. Now we’re in business. We have our own room. It’s even soundproofed, pretty much,” Druzba said.

Then, Coulthard and crew took their work a step further and built three cabinets to house the seventh-graders’ laptops.

“The cabinets are something that other schools would pay $700 to $800 for. And since the wall’s been up, I think the lab has been used more,” Druzba added.

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