CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — Residents at United Helpers Independent Senior Living have a new space to sit and enjoy the outdoors thanks to a group of North Country students.

According to United Helpers, a group of students from the Building and Trades program at St. Lawrence-Lewis’ BOCES Seaway Tech campus in Norwood contributed to the effort. The eight students from Canton, Massena, Colton-Pierrepont, and Parishville-Hopkinton spent two hours a day working on the project for nearly a month with more than 200 total hours of work going into the final product.

Building and Trades Instructor Lawrence Ashley said the project was complex since the gazebo was an octagon shape, meaning they had to make precise cuts in order for everything to fit together to make 360 degrees. He aid that the students that were involved dedicated themselves to the project.

“They showed a degree of professionally beyond what would be expected of students by pre-drilling the wood, so the floor, hand railings, and ceiling would not crack or split,” Ashley said. “The students took great pride in knowing this project would benefit residents of United Helpers.”

According to the organization, the students built the entire gazebo and then cut it in half to transport it to United Helpers for final assembly. United Helpers covered the cost of materials for the gazebo. United Helpers Rehabilitation and Senior Care Vice President of Operations Timothy Parsons stated that the students donating their time is what made the project possible.

“With the amount of labor that goes into building something like this, a gazebo is something that would have been difficult for us to fit into the budget, but thanks to these students and their teachers, the program members now have something to enjoy for many years to come,” Parsons said.

Members at the facility can enjoy fall foilage, flowers in the garden bed, or even deer wandering through the property from the gazebo on the back side of the building. Community Housing Manager Jennifer Dean said that the gazebo will not only give program members a place to sit and enjoy the outdoors but enhance the overall beauty of the site.

“One of the things I’ve wanted to work on since becoming manager was enhancing the landscaping outside, so the beauty of our property outdoors matches the beauty of the building itself,” Dean said.

More information on the program at St. Lawrence-Lewis’ BOCES Seaway Tech campus can be found here. More information on the United Helpers Independent Senior Living facility can be found here.