The $1.8 million lab will also be extended in coming months to include a new wood shop.
DELRAN — Dressed in personalized T-shirts they’d pressed themselves with new equipment, dozens of students eagerly showed off Delran’s new fabrication and innovation laboratory to parents, local business partners and Congressman Andy Kim, at its grand opening.
The $1.8 million science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fabrication laboratory opened for use at the beginning of the school year, in an annex at the back of the high school that was once home to its former auto shop.
The project, completed by Garrison Architects, was supported by capital reserve funds, donations — including $20,000 from Overdeck Family Foundation — and the district’s yearly budget.
However, the lab is not quite done yet. At Thursday’s grand opening, Superintendent Brian Brotschul also announced that the board of education approved a $609,000 proposal Monday night from the Sewell-based W.J. Gross Construction for a project to expand the fabrication lab and add a wood shop.
“It’s so exciting to have the lab up and running, and to provide all these opportunities we envisioned for our students,” said Mary Jo Hutchinson, co-coordinator of Delran’s STEM program. “We’re looking forward to seeing just how far they go.”
“The possibilities are limitless, as the work continues and we break through to the wood shop and add even more tools,” she added.
Hutchinson said she’s also looking forward to introducing the lab to younger students from kindergarten through eighth grade, and seeing students and teachers familiarize themselves with the space and host community events.