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Baldwin students build air show platform

Baldwin carpentry teacher Scott Peritz, right rear, with

Baldwin carpentry teacher Scott Peritz, right rear, with his student who worked on the platform that will be used by the Blue Angels flight controller at Baldwin Senior High School in Baldwin. (May 24, 2012) Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

Joined by other Baldwin High School students, Lucas Krucher hammered the nails and cut the wood for a 100-square-foot platform that will be used by Blue Angels crew members this weekend.

He plans to go to the Jones Beach air show to see his handiwork in action.

"Take pictures," requested classmate Ferisha Hosein, 18.

"I'll be looking for it," said Krucher, 17.

Hosein and Krucher are in the school's advanced carpentry class, which over the years has built a variety of Jones Beach structures -- from parking lot barricades to a beachfront snack shack.

This time, under the direction of teacher Scott Peritz, 15 students from all grades built the 12-foot-high air show platform.

Thursday, it was used by ground navigators with the Navy's precision-flying team in a successful practice run, said Kevin Connelly, assistant park director for Jones Beach. The platform is located on the beachfront at the Central Mall.

"We use it as a command center . . . where a group of individuals communicate to the planes from land," he said. ". . . Without it, it would be a lot more difficult to do what we do."

With materials furnished by Jones Beach, the students started working on the project in April. They had to build it in pieces so it could be taken apart for storage and then reassembled.

"It was a great opportunity," said Hosein, a senior who is going to Molloy College next year to study speech-language pathology, but had considered a career in carpentry. "I really liked the hands-on work."

Peritz said the Jones Beach projects benefit the class by providing a real-world application for their skills. Some of the projects are too costly for the school to afford on its own, but they're feasible with support by the park.

Peritz said he enjoys looking at the class' finished work when he visits the beach.

"There's kind of a thrill. You go there and you see the objects that you have constructed," he said.

Hosein agreed.

"I think it's great," she said. "We are giving back to the community, and it's cool to go to the beach with friends and say, 'Hey, I built that.' "

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