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Ottoson Tech Ed Room Gets Facelift

Teachers, students and volunteers team up to renovate outdated woodshop and classroom at Ottoson Middle School.

Over February break, volunteers, students and teacher Allison Oropallo teamed up to to renovate an outdated technology education woodshop and classroom at .

The project started when Oropallo, of "All American Handyman" fame, received a call from an old high school classmate, P.J. Davey, who runs New Hampshire nonprofit Paint It Forward.

Together they are repainting the entire technology education wing, replacing the flooring and putting in improved lighting. All of this is to create a more usable and innovative learning environment for students, Oropallo said.

Oropallo and Davey have one week to complete the classroom makeover. With more than a hundred volunteers from the community and Arlington Public Schools, the duo's vision is almost becoming a reality.

Fundraising started in December through "Chores for Change," where students performed chores at home in exchange for donations from their guardians, with proceeds going to the project at Ottoson.

Other donations have come in from parents, the Arlington community, and the Ottoson Parent Advisory Council. Home Depot of Watertown donated labor and materials to complete the flooring; Shamrock Mayflower Moving Company of Wakefield transported 12 woodshop lockers free of charge to a powdercoat company in Londonderry, N.H.; a graffiti artist, Adam Brown of Nashua, N.H., put the final wow-factor into the new tech rooms; and Keurig Coffee sent in volunteers and donated two coffee makers to the school.

Arlington's public-access channel, , has been filming the project in its entirety, and Arlingtonians will soon be able to see the work on the channel.

Tax-deductible donations are still being accepted for this project. Those interested in helping out should contact Oropallo directly at aoropallo@arlington.k12.ma.us.

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