Keystone Oaks students build chairs for Dormont Pool

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Jessica Long has built so many Adirondack chairs in her advanced industrial arts class at Keystone Oaks High School and with the school's technology club that she even has one inside her house.

It's painted blue. With flowers.

"I don't have any room outside," explained Jessica, who will be a senior at Keystone Oaks next school year.

Instead of building chairs, she recently served as a kind of project manager, delegating tasks to her classmates at the Keystone Oaks Technology Club as members built and donated 12 chairs to the Dormont Pool this year.

To be sure, the pool has plenty of room outside.

Keystone Oaks wood shop teacher Michael Magri said about 10 of the club's 22 members built the chairs after school in two weeks. Last year, the group gave the borough pool eight Adirondack chairs.

For this year's project, Lowe's home improvement store donated the lumber, students built the chairs and pool employees stained them.

Mr. Magri said middle school-aged kids typically use the chairs more than any other group at the pool.

"Eventually those kids will be building those very things with me," he said.

The group worked even faster this year, streamlining tasks and anticipating challenges. The process is pretty simple, Mr. Magri explained -- a mass production of sorts in which the students "leap frog" from duty to duty, such as using a router to smooth out edges or, in Jessica's case, keeping everyone on task.

Many of them already knew what to expect because students are required to build an Adirondack chair in the advanced industrial arts class at Keystone Oaks.

The school's technology club was created seven years ago and organizes projects that benefit the school and community, Mr. Magri said, including the set for the high school musical.

"It's really awesome that all the chairs down there are made from kids at the school," said Colleen Lehman, vice president of the Friends of Dormont Pool executive board. "If we keep going, we'll have that place full of Adirondack chairs."


Molly Born: or 412-263-1944.


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