Masonry Students Save the Day for Museum Opening

November 27, 2018

When the Haverstraw Museum in Haverstraw, NY, needed to have some bricks cut for its grand reopening, it looked no further than the Masonry program at The Tech Center at PNW BOCES.
Vicki Miller, a member of the museum’s board, contacted Masonry teacher Erik Cantamessa to ask if his students could help re-cut bricks that were cut incorrectly.
Cantamessa and his students immediately responded to the call for help.
“Time was of the essence, and PNW BOCES came to the rescue with Erik Cantamessa and his most helpful students in the Masonry program,” said Miller. “The students measured and cut each of the 56 bricks to the desired size and specification.  Besides measuring and cutting, the students made templates to make sure the brick pieces were cut to the desired size to fit within the museum's display cabinets. Their work is much appreciated by the board at the museum.”
“It was a great thing for the students to learn about local history, especially related to the masonry trade,” said Cantamessa, who said his students were excited to work on the project. “Vicki came up to the Masonry program with old bricks from the Hudson Valley, and the students measured and cut each one to fit in the new display at the museum. It was a win-win for all. The students received a history lesson, key skills in cutting brick and even a math lesson in fractions.” And, of course, the museum received properly cut bricks for its display wall.
The 20-year-old Haverstraw Brick Museum will have a “soft” re-opening on Dec. 1, with a complete re-opening scheduled for spring 2019. The mission of the Haverstraw Brick Museum is to collect, preserve, research and exhibit materials and cultures of the brickmaking industry within the Hudson River Valley.
Erik Cantamessa’s Masonry students cut bricks for the Haverstraw Brick Museum.