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PennDOT partners with local students for landscaping project

January 03, 2020 12:00 AM
By: Kim Smith

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PennDOT's District 3 office in Montoursville is getting a makeover with the help of students from Pennsylvania College of Technology's horticulture program.

The facilities unit was recently tasked with designing a landscaping project for the district office. Recognizing the need to consult with landscaping and plant experts, the staff reached out to the district's roadside unit, who then suggested they consider working with PCT.

Professor Carl Bower and the horticulture students were quickly on board. Tanya Tolomay, PennDOT's district roadway programs manager, and Roy Beck, building maintenance repairman, along with Lyndon Mink and Brett Runkle of the roadside unit met with them in early October to give a scope of work.

"We appreciate PennDOT giving us the opportunity to practice the skills we have been studying in class," Bower said. "This project has given us the chance to fulfill several objectives from class and it shows students that design projects can come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it is a challenge to think simply, instead of a grand scale, but a low maintenance design such as this, can be in much higher demand than one that is heavy in plants and hardscaping."

Partnering with PCT not only provides valuable experience to the students, it also saves design cost for the district.

"In the end, we hope to take their recommendations and will use them to bid the project," Tolomay explained. "The students were very excited for this opportunity and we are looking forward to their recommendations. This engages students in real life projects."

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