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NWTC students revitalize NEW Zoo structures

NWTC students using their skills out in the real world at the NEW Zoo
NWTC students using their skills out in the real world at the NEW Zoo(WBAY)
Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 6:38 PM CDT
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SUAMICO, Wis. (WBAY) - Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) students are using their skills out in the real world, helping to revitalize the NEW Zoo and Adventure Park in Suamico. Students in NWTC’s carpentry and electrical power and distribution programs, design and build projects to gain hands-on skills.

For years, a partnership with NWTC students and the NEW Zoo has been mutually beneficial, helping the animals as well as the students.

“Projects like these you know award our students the opportunity to take a project from a concept, but then take what we’re learning in our lab and then apply it to the particular building,” said Steve Awe, NWTC Carpentry Instructor.

Students have already completed over nine different building projects for the NEW Zoo over the past few years. Including a lion platform, emu shelter, concession stands, ticketing booths, care cabins, and a trolley depot. NEW Zoo officials say they are working to modernize it.

“There are projects like this size and scale and scalp and everything that we need throughout the whole zoo, that really helps complete the zoo,” said Neil Anderson, NEW Zoo Director.

Their latest project for the zoo is a 44-foot long trolley depot, which is their largest project to date that stores the zoo’s train. It is a replica of the Suamico Train Station that burned down in the late 40′s. Eventually by the fall people will be able to view photos and educational graphics with all the historical background behind it.

Two care cabins will also be open for use in the fall and can be used by mothers to tend to their babies and individuals that have sensory needs who need to take a break away from everything, as they’re placed off to the side in quiet areas.

“We want to make sure that the zoo is inclusive for everybody,” Anderson explained.

The NEW Zoo has many projects in the works with NWTC already, including building a bear platform, a canopy tour, and treehouses throughout the zoo. They say without the partnership, these projects would not have happened.

“It’s great for the program cause then it gives something that we’re able to provide back to the community and the students, you can see, you know, the pride and the ownership that they have and it’s there, like I say, for many years to come,” said Awe.

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