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It's been said that when one door closes another one opens.
So, maybe it's fitting that the closing of a local cabinet making business led to an opportunity for students at the Marion County Area Technology Center.
For the past two weeks, those students have been working with state-of-the-art tools as a result of a collaboration between the tech center and Maewood.
Maewood closed a few months ago, and with the business sitting empty, owner Kenny Marrett offered the workshop, as well as access to tools and wood, for each of the students in the cabinet construction class to build a cabinet of their own.
"My daddy always said if you give a kid the tools to work with, you'll be surprised what he can do," Marrett said. "This is proof of it."
During their time in the shop, the students worked from a set of schematic drawings to create the basic design. Each student then sawed, sandpapered and stained the wood used for each piece of the cabinet.
Former Maewood employees came back during the two weeks to assist the students with the various stages of their projects.
"It's been pretty cool," Marion County High School junior Cody Rakes said. "I've learned a lot."
As the school is in the process of being renovated, the construction program has been relegated to using the old wood shop at MCHS. The resources at Maewood are more modern and more plentiful than the tools available to the tech center students this year.
"We could sell all of our equipment and still not afford one of these saws," Rakes said.
Michael Pinkston, a junior, also appreciated having more room to work.
"It's a lot nicer. The shop at the high school ain't nothing compared to this," he said.
The program emerged from conversations between Marrett and Danny Taylor, the carpentry instructor. With some assistance from the Marion County Fiscal Court, the program moved forward.
Taylor said the two weeks of the program have been excellent for the students.
"They know what to expect when they get in this kind of work, as far as work ethic and the quality of the product they need to produce," he said. "It's been invaluable."
Marrett, Taylor and the students said they hope the program can continue in the future, and they also hope similar programs can be created for the other areas of study at the tech center.
Marrett said the program has exceeded his expectations.
"When you see the finished product, it will speak for itself," he said.
See for yourself
The cabinets built and crafted by the Marion County Area Technology students at Maewood will be on display as part of an open house at 5 p.m. Nov. 16 at Maewood, 650 Metts Drive in Lebanon.