Skip To Main Content

GJPS Students Receive Hands-On Construction Experience

GJPS Students Receive Hands-On Construction Experience

In addition to constructing the school for the future of all Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools, Ruscilli Construction is also shaping the future for some of our current Gahanna Lincoln High School students.

Leaders with Ruscilli have taken the time to show some of our students how the construction process works and help them learn more about potential careers in the industry.

“I am happy to take the mystery out of what we do. If I can impact one student and have them decide they can do this for their career, that makes me happy,” Phil Miller, a former GJPS student and the General Superintendent for the project said. “It’s a privilege. I like when I am talking to the group and I can see the lightbulb pop in their head”

The architecture class at GLHS has a routine schedule of visiting the job site and learning from the experts in the field on the architecture and construction of the new GLHS.

“I love during the tours when Ms. Smith takes something they’re learning in class and says, ‘Well here it is in action,’” Project Executive Frank Pinciotti said. “Here you can actually see it. It’s about reading the drawing, looking at the specs and then actually looking at the finished product.”

In addition, the Ruscilli team has developed specific programs for two seniors who are interested in different aspects of construction for a career after high school. Joey Bessignano has been working with the team on a mock wall on the job site and Muhammad Iqbal has spent time with several different trades working on the construction while trying to decide what he wants to do next.

Bessignano plans to study construction management at Bowling Green State University upon his graduation this spring. In working with the Ruscilli team, he is learning about all of the aspects of a mock wall. A mock up wall is a sample of the permanent installation to confirm materials and workmanship that will be approved and then used as the measuring stick for the quality of work on the building itself. The architect drew the plans for the mock wall and it has the major components of the exterior from brick to skin, which will be approved before being applied to the new GLHS.

“You have to go out there and manage the people who are making this wall and understand the materials and drawings that deal with this wall,” Bessignano said. “You need to know what is right or what needs to be fixed. It all ties into construction management.”

In addition to his work on the site, Bessignano also gives presentations to his class about what he is learning while working on the mock wall. The entire project has helped push Bessignano to understand what his next steps may look like.

“It has been challenging for sure,” he said. “It’s something new I am learning, and it makes yourself proud when you see the work you are doing.”

Iqbal has spent many hours of his spring on the job site trying to decide what he wants to do after graduation. After a day of shadowing Miller, Iqbal has had the opportunity to learn from experts in the field about the variety of trades currently working on the high school. He has spent time shadowing in the areas of carpentry, plumbing, electrical, steel, HVAC, masonry and roofing. Each trade has shown Iqbal how they fit in for the overall plan and then taken him out in the field to see the work in action.

“I hoped to learn about the trades and to see which ones interested me most for a future job… These are good trades that pay really well, but they can each be difficult in their own way,” Iqbal said. “I was most interested in electric and HVAC, and I’m looking for jobs after high school right now, including apprenticeship programs in these jobs.”

For those that worked with Iqbal and Bessignano, it was a matter of passing along a little bit of knowledge to the future generation of those who want to work in the trades.

“The leaders that we have on site are happy to have them shadow,” Miller said. “They like talking about their work and they like when people show an interest in what they do. Everybody has to start and learn somewhere and the leaders out here know that. They were once a Muhammad before they got to where they are.”

Ruscilli also opened up their doors for eighth grade shadow day where they showcased the field of construction for several GJPS eighth grade students. According to Miller and Pinciotti, these shadow opportunities, as well as simply working close to the students, helps keep the construction team focused.

“It drives us to excellence because we look every day at who the end client is. It is the current and future students,” Pinciotti said. “Safety, schedule, budget and quality; it drives all those factors by being in close proximity to the students. When we have positive relationships with the client, it makes us work harder.”