Students in the Auto Collision program at the Delaware Area Career Center have been working on an unusual assignment for the past few weeks, repainting and refreshing all the parking meters in Delaware.
David Finnegan, the instructor for the program, said he was contacted by the City of Delaware Police Department and asked if they could repaint all the meters in the city.
Finnegan said he was happy for the opportunity and had students begin to prep and refinish the parking meters along with their regular coursework. The students have been working on the parking meters for the last three weeks, Finnegan said.
Finnegan added the concept of refinishing the parking meters is essentially the same as the process of refinishing the body of a car and said the project is a great learning experience for his students.
“It’s about two things, education and giving back to the community,” Finnegan said. “Anytime you have an opportunity for bettering the community, you go for it.”
Finnegan said the students have already learned a lot about parking meters and have refined their technique and established best practices after the first few batches.
“Everything builds off of steps,” Finnegan said. “It also builds good relationships with community leaders.”
The students in the class are also enjoying the project.
“It’s the same concept (as auto collision coursework), and I’m enjoying it a lot,” said Levi Rider, a junior from Buckeye Valley. Rider said he’s been focused on making the parking meters as perfect as possible.
“I want to make it perfect so the police department can feel happy about it,” he said.
Another student in the Auto Collision program, Hayes High School junior Cameron Mattox, said he thinks the project is a unique experience.
“I think it’s really fun to do,” Mattox said. “It’s a cool experience to have an impact on the community. It’s given me experience with paint that’s a little different.”
City of Delaware Police Captain Adam Moore said the project benefits the City of Delaware and the DACC.
“This project is another great example of the benefits achieved through community partnership,” Moore said. “By collaborating with the DACC, our parking meters will get an economical facelift and local students have a tangible opportunity to practice the same skills they will someday employ in their career field.”
Finnegan said when the project is completed, the students will have refinished 360 parking meters.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.