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Greenport students ‘upcycle’ old bleachers, giving them a second life as a garden shed

Greenport students build a shed out of discarded bleachers. Courtesy photo: Mike Davies

Greenport School’s technology teacher Mike Davies has a particular gift for making something grand out of nearly nothing.

Last year, on a budget of less than $5,000 he put together a high-end 3D printing lab valued at $50,000 using donated equipment. See previous story.

Now he and his eighth grade technology students have taken a pile of old bleachers from the school’s gym renovation and turned it into an 8 by 12 foot shed which can double as a greenhouse.

“While they were renovating the gym over the summer I got a call from the facilities guy who asked me if I wanted the discarded bleachers,” said Davies.

He jumped at the opportunity and drove out to the school to cut the old bleachers into manageable sizes and move them to his classroom. In September he presented the idea of “upcycling” the wood into a garden shed to his eighth grade class. They loved the idea and got to work right away.

It took Davies and his class a few weeks to plane, cut and lay out the wood for the shed and they soon got to work building it. Using money from a Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant, they were able to buy the tools and additional supplies they needed.

“We had to combat bad weather some days,” said Davies. “But with a lot of hard work we got it mostly finished right before Thanksgiving break.”

The shed is located near the school garden and will be used by the STEM teacher to store garden supplies. Davies added a clear polycarbonate roof to create an auxiliary greenhouse as well.

“There’s room for expansion in using the shed,” Davies said. “We may add blackboards to create an educational stage out there in the future.”

Davies is pleased to be able to take something that would normally be discarded and turn it into something useful.

“There’s a lot of history in those bleachers,” said Davies. “Now they have a second life.”

Photos courtesy Mike Davies

Katharine is a writer and photographer who has lived on the North Fork for nearly 40 years, except for three-plus years in Hong Kong a decade ago, working for the actor Jackie Chan. She lives in Cutchogue. Email Katharine