Electric Students Wire the ProHOME Basement
These kids are a "tornado of future electricians up on ladders and down on their knees nailing on boxes, drilling holes, and pulling cable."
Students from the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center in Warwick, R.I., started wiring the lower level at the ProHOME project last week. Led by Mr. Valletta, the head of electrical instruction at WACTC, 15 junior and senior students come for about two hours in the morning, and 12 sophomore students come for about two hours in the middle of the day. One of the other workers on-site described the hours the students are there as a “tornado of future electricians up on ladders and down on their knees nailing on boxes, drilling holes, and pulling cable.”
Lately I’ve been busy on the roof working with teacher Michael Haynes’ carpentry students, so I don’t get to watch the electric students work. But when I do get downstairs, I find that the place is clean and that the work they’ve done looks professional.
The wiring work the students are tackling in the basement isn’t limited to a couple of plugs and switches. The walkout basement is like an 800-sq.-ft. house with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette area, large living/dining area, and a utility room with a water heater, stackable washer/dryer, and more. Plus, there are about seven exterior lights and exterior outlets. In all, there will be about 22 light fixtures, numerous single-pole switches, a four-way switch circuit, a few 220v/240v circuits for appliances, and more.
Mr. Valletta is a seasoned electrician who took over the electric program at WACTC just three years ago. He’s built the roster from one student when he arrived to 27, and it’s still growing.
I figured it would take the students several weeks to wire the lower level, but after just three days, they have a bulk of the rough wiring done. The regular electric crew is wiring the main part of the house, and these seasoned pros are impressed with the quality of the students’ work they’ve seen so far.