Plumbers donate services and materials to Somerville school


When Saint Theresa’s Catholic School, which was founded in 1923, wanted to update its aging bathrooms, Local 12 and the GBPCA answered the call. The union’s members provided the labor for the remodeling project, and the contractor group donated the fixtures and the materials.

According to Rick Carter, director of Local 12’s training center, the crew for the project was mostly first-year apprentices. As he explains, it’s great to be able to help a needy organization, but the project was also a wonderful learning experience for the new apprentices. Because they were retrofitting and demoing the existing bathrooms, it offered a rare opportunity for them to see and work with older fixtures, piping, and materials.

“The great thing about doing a job where we are donating our time is that there is a lot less stress. The deadlines are often less strict,” Carter notes. “The journeymen aren’t under the gun either, so they can take the time to really watch over the apprentices and make it educational.”

The project included the replacement of 16 toilets and 2 sinks in the girls’ bathroom as well as 8 toilets, 8 urinals, and 2 sinks in the boys’ bathroom. The work was done off hours on Saturdays. Business agents Jim Vaughan and Frank Amato helped oversee the project.

The Somerville school serves students in pre-K through grade 8. Its diverse mix of students are from Somerville, Medford, Cambridge, Everett, Arlington, and other surrounding communities. Saint Theresa’s also operates an after-school program.

“This was a great opportunity to give back to the community,” Amato says. “Our membership is always looking for ways to help out.”