Boat building academy offers new space for Beaufort County students

Boat building academy
Boat building academy(WITN)
Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 8:20 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Anyone who visits or lives in Beaufort County knows how important boating is to the community. Now, high school students there have a brand-new space dedicated to the craft of boat building.

“Next Monday, we’ll have students in this building learning boat building for the first time in their own dedicated space,” Vicki Hamill, Beaufort County Schools Career and Technical Education director explained.

The boat building academy has been around for two years, but for teacher Ken Adams, having a new place of this size now is significant.

“This addition of space is just gonna be wonderful for us to spread our wings and really get into the fun projects that we really wanna get to do,” Adams said.

Nestled behind Washington High School, the area will serve as a place for 9th through 12th graders to gain all the skills they need.

“Reading blueprints, hands-on marking, measuring, scaling, so we’ll read blueprints and we’ll enlarge them into a large-scale boat,” Adams explained.

Those with years of experience in the boating industry, like Reggie Fountain, know how important Adam’s knowledge is to have in-house. Adams, in fact, is someone who helped him in the craft years ago.

“He helped me in the beginning build the plugs, and from the plugs, we built the molds and from the molds, we built the boats and he’s a very knowledgeable guy to be able to come here and teach people,” Fountain said.

Of course, something like this comes with a price tag. The $1.2 million worth of funding was thanks to a grant from Golden LEAF Foundation.

Still, whether it’s to get a job in boat building or just learn important skills, supporters say investing in students, is investing in what’s next.

“We’re trying to make it better for all of our students, to give them better opportunities and a greater chance at a livable wage that will help them in their future and the future of our community,” Hamill said.

The boat building academy is open to all Beaufort County high school students.

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