This year we recognize 60 years of partnership with WRVC and the City of Westbook in building houses to train students. In June 1958, the first house at 42 Libby Ave was completed, right around the corner from the school. This first house was made possible by the vision of Carl Jensen, Vocational Director and Galan Veayo Supt of Schools.
In 1957, Westbrook was at risk of losing state accreditation of its vocational program unless the curriculum was improved. Mr Jensen had the idea to bring real-world experience to his students by designing and building a house.  This would be a first for the state of Maine and one of the first such programs in the US. The problem was funding and he approached Rotary to help.
L-R: Carl Jensen, Galen Veayo, Elmer Currier, 
Phil Stultz, Walter Hall, Russell Morse
Thanks to many local businesses and Rotarians of the time, including Phil Stultz who owned an electrical supply company and was soon to be a Rotary District Governor, materials and supplies were provided largely on account. These businesses were paid once the house was sold.
The first house was aptly called “Operation Cape Cod”, since it was a Cape-style home. After the first year’s success, “Operation Ranch House” followed and was built across the street at 43 Libby Ave. Over the next 60 years, 45 homes have been built across Westbrook. Each time, the home was sold to fund the next project and to provide scholarships and toolships to WRVC students.
Scenes from the 60th Anniversary Celebration
On May 1, during our evening celebration at WRVC, we were pleased to welcome some current and past educators of WRVC including David Moon, Mike Kane, Dick Plaisted, Todd Fields, Sandy Peabody, and Pete Wilson. Interestingly, Pete is a former student as well as a current instructor.  David spoke about his experiences in the program and the pride he saw in students who worked on the homes. Attendees took a tour of the electrical and building trades classrooms and enjoyed a large array of appetizers and “mocktails” prepared by Chef Limoggio and the Culinary students.
Director Todd Fields and Ret. Instructor David Moon
Work continues on obtaining and organizing photos and memorabilia from homes constructed over the years. If you have any material you are willing to share, please bring it to an upcoming meeting.  Our plan is to scan photos, documents and news articles to create a comprehensive record that can be archived at the Westbook Historical Society.
Photo credit: Scott Linscott