When we hit the ice this year, we can thank the civil engineering technology students, who work hard behind the scenes with the carpentry students to bring winter fun to Algonquin. A team of third-year students braved the chilly morning weather on Nov. 12 to survey the C-building courtyard in preparation for the construction of Algonquin’s community ice rink.
Alex Asmis, Kody Desjardins and Rocky Galla were joined by their teacher Federico Fernandez to work on the project. They used range flags, stakes, a robotic total station and a laser level to lay out the rink, which will be available for students and faculty to use for free once winter sets in.
After their work was completed, Algonquin’s carpentry students took over to construct the rink itself. Desjardins said that although it only takes an hour or two to do the layout, there’s a lot of preparation that goes into a project like this, including making sure the equipment is properly calibrated.
“We have a total station in the middle that takes all our coordinates, then we walk around with the GPS and make sure all the coordinates and the points that are mapped out are accurate,” Asmis explained. “And then we stake it, and the carpenters have a guideline to where they have to put the boards.”
The students are doing this for a leadership project they will be assigned during the winter term.
“Our teacher brought it up and gave us the opportunity to do this,” said Galla. “We jumped on the chance to get ahead of the game before next semester.”
The project involves students doing an act of leadership that will benefit the student community, according to Fernandez. He said it gives the team an opportunity to get some real-world experience, and the students were eager to use equipment they don’t often get a chance to use in the classroom.
“It’s a learning opportunity for them,” said Fernandez. “In civil engineering, you have to design and you have to build. This is the building portion. The design was done on a computer, so we can be here and we actually lay it out.”
Despite the cold weather, they were happy to come out and be part of something that’s going to benefit Algonquin’s community.
“It’s good to have the students doing something like this,” said Galla. “It saves the school money, it lets us get involved and the ice rink is enjoyed by all, so we’re just doing our part to help out.”
There’s no word yet on when the rink will be completed, but Desjardins said at this point it’s a matter of waiting for the right weather.
“Tomorrow the carpenters are coming in to set up the walls,” he said, “and then I guess after that it’s kind of mother nature’s task.”