Bench donation perfect fit at BTA |

Bench donation perfect fit at BTA

Christian Harper, an aspiring Eagle Scout, designed, built and donated six wooden benches for the library renovation at Blessed Trinity Academy in Glenshaw.
Christian Harper, an aspiring Eagle Scout, designed, built and donated six wooden benches for the library renovation at Blessed Trinity Academy in Glenshaw.
Hampton High School senior Christian Harper (back left) built benches for Blessed Trinity Academy’s Library. Seated (from left) are second-graders Callie Kandravy and Kaylie Mitchell; fourth-grader Erica Mitchell; sixth-grader Michael Bridgeman; fifth-grader Ben Kandravy; fourth-graders Jacob Bridgeman and Jack Kandravy. BTA Principal Jessica Rock (back left) was on hand for the dedication.

A senior at Hampton High School has helped with the library renovation at Blessed Trinity Academy in Glenshaw by designing, creating and donating a set of six, wooden benches.

Christian Harper of Allison Park hand built the benches to be placed in the library of the former St. Mary’s of the Assumption School on Middle Road, which merged last year with St. Bonaventure and St. Ursula, he said.

The Blessed Trinity Academy library has been under going under renovation since the merger of the three schools, said Jessica Rock, school principal. Harper said he was looking for a project to use toward earning his yet-to-be-determined Eagle Scout rank when he learned the library at the former St. Mary’s church needed updates.

Harper designed the six benches to form a hexagonal shape when pushed together, perfect for occupants to work together and collaborate. Or they can be separated. He used birch veneer wood with solid pine as the trim. And they include space for storage.

“The benches that Christian made are a welcome addition to our library. When we began redesigning the library, we realized that new and updated furniture was a must. We needed areas and places where students could collaborate, relax, and enjoy. Christian’s bench design was just what we needed,” Rock said.

Some research was required for him to accomplish the work. He didn’t have much woodworking skills prior to this project. Also, a family friend gave assistance with some of the cutting and assembly. The whole project took him approximately “150 man hours,” he said.

This was a learning experience for Harper. It was the first occasion he was the “lead” of a project.

While he finished the project, Harper said he still hasn’t been approved of the Eagle Scout rank, which has to undergo the organization’s board of review. He’s been a Boy Scout for almost eight years and was a Cub Scout in elementary school.

Harper is in the Hampton High School Marching Band and plays ultimate soccer. He’s also a parishioner at St. Mary’s.

Rock said when the schools merged, the existing library needed to be renovated and “open up” the layout, while also updating books and the library system. The benches Harper designed and created perfectly complement the library’s purpose, she said.

Other notable library renovations include colorful murals that decorate the walls and a new computer system to help organize their “significant number of new books,” said Meredith Kandravy, admissions and marketing director there.

She said the whole room was painted and cleaned and cleared out. While furniture has been ordered, the school is still trying to raise funds to buy more.

Overall, the project is nearing completion, Kandravy said. Volunteers are still scanning and shelving books, but the library is up and running.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.