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Release Date: February 28, 2016

It's a beautiful day today. SUGGESTION: Take a hike! ...Visit Hartsbrook nature Preserve. I posted below a link to some photos of the grounds and the walking trails. The property is very scenic and the grounds have something for everyone. The town, at the urging of the late Richard Presser (we named Webb field for him) purchased the park in 1999 with the county and state.--one of my proudest votes.
Window Repair Project Highlights Importance of Local History for BOCES Students


Harts Brook Park is located on Ridge Road -across from Ridge Park.  The town manages the park.  Take a look at the following link for a tour of the park and beautiful trails. 



A big thank you to BOCES students and BOCES for their hard work repairing windows at the historic barn.




Students in Richie Thomas' class re-glaze old windows from the Hart's Brook Park and Preserve

Walk into Richie Thomas' construction/plumbing classroom at the SWBOCES Center for Career Services on any given day and you'll see Mr. Thomas guiding his students on an exciting hands-on project that could help them find jobs as professional glaziers following graduation.


Since late fall, the students have been repairing and restoring a number of windows that came from a historic barn located in the Hart's Brook Park and Preserve in Hartsdale, once known as the Gaisman Estate.


The estate was formerly owned by Henry Gaisman, the inventor of the famous Gillette safety razor blade.


The sizeable restoration and repair project is being done in collaboration with the Town of Greenburgh, which received a $25,000 grant from the Lanza Family Foundation to carry out the work.


The grant is paying for materials that are being used to restore 53 windows from the barn, which was built in 1928 and is surrounded by a greenhouse and four unused horse stalls.


The 123-acre park, which includes a master garden and hiking trails, is jointly owned by the State of New York, Greenburgh and Westchester County.


In addition to the barn, the park preserve is one of the largest remaining remnants of a deciduous forest in southern Westchester County. The preserve acts as an ecological resource, providing a nesting, breeding and feeding habitat for a plethora of species that would otherwise not be found in the immediate area.


Today, the town runs an array of programs at Hart's Brook Park and Preserve in an effort to increase awareness of sustainability, environmental sensitivity and local history.


‘We are thrilled to get local SWBOCES students to assist us in restoring the windows to this historic barn," said Greenburgh Commissioner of Parks and Recreation Gerard Byrne.


Mr. Byrne said the project not only gives students valuable offsite work experience, but also exposure to the kind of early 20th century architecture that just can't be found anywhere else in central or lower Westchester.


Mr. Thomas said he was delighted to take on the project and the opportunity to teach his students an in-demand skill that could some day help get them a good-paying job.


The students are currently working on the second batch of windows, which were delivered to the classroom by staff from Greenburgh's Parks & Recreation Department earlier this month.


Mr. Thomas has created a work schedule that keeps his students and the project on task.


On a recent visit to the classroom, some of them were already painting the window frames, putting brown paint on the inside and white on the outside. Other students were re-glazing windows that had already gone through the initial repair process, including repairs to the glass, wood and hardware.


Re-glazing is an exact skill that requires some finesse, explained Mr. Thomas, who once owned a local construction company. Students must be careful to gently insert the putty knife underneath the old putty and pry it upwards, leaving in place those sections of old glaze that cannot be removed.


Inserting metal glazier's points at the edges of the glass pane where it meets the wood frame is yet another step in the process, Mr. Thomas added during a recent in-class demonstration.


The project also includes masking, priming, painting and cleaning the refinished glass before delivery back to the barn. 


BOCES Principal Jim Matera said the collaborative project is a great example of how two organizations can work together to benefit students. It is also a way for the Center to comply with the state Education Department's mandate that career and tech students accrue more work-based learning hours before graduation.  


"The Town of Greenburgh has been a great partner to us as we educate our future tradespeople," said Mr. Matera. "Not only are our students gaining authentic work experience through this project, but they are also helping to restore a part of their own community for future park goers to enjoy."


Mr. Byrne said he looks forward to continuing similar partnerships in the future. The project is expected to be complete by the end of the school year when Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner plans to hold a formal recognition ceremony for all involved.

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