From left, Jeff Peariso, Steve Wyckoff, and Henry Woloson are supporting a Clarkston Junior High Construction Tech project to renovate the historic Sashabaw Presbyterian Church on Maybee Road. Please see page 4 for story and more pictures. Photo by Phil Custodio
BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
The David W. Elliott Memorial Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to the Clarkston Schools Construction Tech program for renovation of the historic Sashabaw Presbyterian Church on Maybee Road.
“It sounded like something David would have supported,” said Henry S. Woloson. “It’s a good fit. He was very much into manufacturing and construction, and he supported a lot of worker education.”
“This is incredible for the kids,” said Steve Wyckoff, construction technology instructor at Clarkston Junior High School. “I’ve been an educator for 28 years, and this is the cat’s meow, an opportunity to pick up something to give to the community. Kids are more involved moving around than sitting in a classroom.”
They have received about 40 donations so far, including wood from Ace Hardware to help cover up broken the windows; as well as a stainless steel countertop and sinks, power tools, scaffolding, material, and volunteer hours by adults and students.
Donations of these types of items are still needed, as well as antique lights, chandeliers, and heirlooms.
“If your kids and grandkids don’t appreciate your heirlooms, we will,” Woloson said.
Work started about three weeks ago. So far, 72 students filled two 40-yard dumpsters, donated by TNR, with material from four rooms and kitchen in the basement
The restoration, which will take years to complete, will give students hands-on experience with wiring, construction, and math skills.
“It’s pretty solid,” said Construction Technology teacher Jeff Peariso.
“This has great bones,” Wyckoff said.
When complete, it could be used by the community for meetings, music and theater performances, banquets, weddings, and other events.
“It can be used for all kinds of things,” Wyckoff said.
The program, which he learned about from reading articles about it in The Clarkston News, will benefit students and the entire community, Woloson said.
“The governor talks about the need for enhanced education in the skilled trades,” he said.
Sashabaw Presbyterian’s historic church at 5331 Maybee Road was built by Ebenezer Beardslee and congregation members in 1855.
The church, presently located across the street at 5300 Maybee Road, partnered with the Clarkston Construction Technology program to restore the building earlier this year.
For more information or to donate, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or check sashabawpresbyterian.org or “Sashabaw Presbyterian Church – USA” on Facebook.