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Coastal Studies for Girls hosts construction class in Freeport; students arrive in 6 months

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Coastal Studies for Girls hosts construction class in Freeport; students arrive in 6 months

FREEPORT — The Coastal Studies for Girls school will gain a tool shed for its campus, and a handful of local women will gain carpentry experience through a class offered by Women Unlimited.

Women Unlimited, an organization dedicated to improving the economic well-being of Maine women, minorities and displaced workers, offers technical and trade experience through classes and workshops.

Lib Jamison, executive director of Women Unlimited, said she is happy to work with the girl's school again. The first class held at the school taught participants how to build toolboxes.

"We try hard to connect and work together," Jamison said. "We have a good working relationship with the school and are excited to be back at the campus."

Coastal Studies for Girls, a residential science and leadership semester school, expects to open its doors for the first class of sophomores in February.

Ginger Jones, director of development and marketing at CSG, said the shed will be used to hold expeditionary equipment such as kayaks, paddles and tents for the outdoor discovery programs.

"This is just another tangible expression of the process," she said. "From the beginning it has been all about learning."

The CSG board of directors and staff have held workshops throughout the school's construction process and have invited the community to participate. There have been workshops on carpentry, classes on insulation, and demonstrations on heat pumps and alternative energy sources. The staff has encouraged neighbors and friends to watch and learn as the school has been transformed from an old farmhouse to a school with living space, offices, classrooms and a dining hall.

Pam Erickson, executive director of CSG, said the shed project is a positive experience for everyone involved. The school gets a shed, and women learn a new skill.

"These women take away the skills that will make them more employable and resourceful," she said. "And we get to continue the process of education on our campus."

Erickson said both organizations share the goal of empowering women by inspiring and supporting them in their choices.

"We both encourage growth and challenges," she said.

As of now, Jones and Erickson said they have been actively and aggressively recruiting girls to join the first class, and have 15 students in the application process.

Erickson said students from Maine, Vermont, Maryland and Massachusetts attending private, public and home schools have shown interest in CSG. But, she said there are still spaces and scholarships available.

"We hope to attract a diverse student body," she said. "A group of students with different of socioeconomic, ethnic and geographic backgrounds."

Erickson said there will be three more faculty members, two interns and a head resident hired before the students arrive in February.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net.