Career and Technical School project continues to bring smiles to crowds, honor vets years later

Submarine float constructed by Capital Region BOCES students
The submarine float, owned and operated by United States Submarine Veterans Albany-Saratoga Chapter, is periodically refined by Career and Technical School students.

You could say the work of Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School students and faculty sails on and on and on.

Spotted during the Clifton Park Fourth of July Parade on Monday was a submarine float that was constructed by students and faculty in the Building Trades program six years ago and refined a year later by students in the Construction/Heavy Equipment program.

Owned and operated by members of the United States Submarine Veterans Albany-Saratoga Chapter, the float initially served as a work-based learning program during the 2016-17 school year for students in the Building Trades, Carpentry Services and a host of other programs on the Albany Campus.

The following school year, it was brought to the Schoharie Campus, where students in the Construction/Heavy Equipment program fabricated and installed metal railings.

Modeled after a World War II-era submarine, the float was a labor of love for the students at both the Albany and Schoharie CTE campuses who have worked on it during the past two school years.

“The work is fun and I enjoy doing something for the veterans,” Matt Sweetser, a construction program graduate from Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District, said while working on the project as a student.

Ryan Williams, a graduate of Schalmont, who worked on the submarine during the 2016-17 school year, said, “It felt great to be able to give back to the veterans.”

The veterans, many of whom were similar in age to the students when they went into service, praised the work of the students.

“They did a fantastic job. We really do appreciate everything they have done,” said then-Commander Jim Irwin.

The float appears annually in parades around the Capital Region.