- Category: Schools
- Published on Sunday, 13 February 2011 16:42
- Written by Pete Leenhouts
- Hits: 1340
The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding kicked off its 30th anniversary year by breaking ground earlier this winter on its fifth shop, the Jeff Hammond Boat Shop. Soule Woodworking and Construction of Port Hadlock is erecting the steel, 6,300-square-foot educational facility and workshop building on the school’s upper campus off Lower Hadlock Road south of Port Hadlock. Construction is scheduled to be completed by March 2011.
The shop has been named in honor of Jeff Hammond, the school’s senior instructor. Hammond, a long-time resident of Marrowstone Island, near Port Townsend, learned his trade from the boat school’s founder, famed Northwest master shipright Bob Prothero, and he has been a member of the staff since 1985. Hammond was stunned when he was informed of the new shop’s name, saying, “I would never have imagined I would be honored by the school like this.”
The new shop is needed by the school, and quickly, for two reasons:
- Fifty-five boatbuilding students, a record number, are taking the three boatbuilding courses this year. While the current facilities were just adequate for the first quarter of instruction, space rapidly became a problem as students at the school began building boats this winter and spring.
- The boat school has been commissioned to build a 62-foot sailboat designed by internationally-known boat designer, Bob Perry.
Bill Mahler, the school’s executive director, said, “The [Bob Perry] boat represents a superb opportunity for the school to improve visibility of its contemporary boatbuilding program, and it will bring international recognition in the boatbuilding and sailing communities to the boat school and the contemporary program. The Jeff Hammond Boat Shop makes it possible to take on projects of this magnitude.”
It was a challenge for the school to find the funds. At just the right moment, a very generous couple who wished to remain anonymous stepped forward and agreed to contribute half of the $500,000 construction cost. Their generosity made it possible to construct the Jeff Hammond Boat Shop. With their support, and that of many other individuals, businesses and foundations, more than $430,000 has been raised to date.
However, as the school continues to grow, the need for classroom space has become acute. Accordingly, the school must raise another $70,000 to be able to install the new classroom in the Jeff Hammond Boat Shop during the summer of 2011 to be ready for the arrival of the class of 2011/2012 in October.
Pete Leenhouts oversees special projects at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding. Send your news and photos to Fyddeye.