By Shawn Chitnis


BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4)– Students, staff, and community members celebrated the new wood shop at Vikan Middle School on Monday, just days before the school year began. The shop was completed thanks to recent donations from the web series “Returning The Favor” on Facebook Watch.

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“If you look out here, this is our future guys,” said Dave Franks, a teacher who volunteers to lead shop classes at the school. “This is the future.”

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The Facebook series selected him earlier in the year after they heard he was providing a service that would not otherwise be in the school. As part of the show, they profiled Franks and then revealed to him and the school they were donating $30,000 in cash to help build the new wood shop as well as $10,000 in equipment.

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“I love drafting mainly because it just gets me express all the ideas that are in my head,” said Nicole Gutierrez, 13.

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The eighth grade student hopes to become an architect after school and cannot wait to take new classes now that she has access to the resources needed.

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She will be part of the first drafting class that Franks will teach in the new school year. Gutierrez was at school on Monday to celebrate the opening of the new shop.

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Franks hope other schools can provide the same opportunities to their students, he believes these classes and the technical skills they teach should be available across Colorado.

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“What happens in shop, stays in shop,” he joked to the crowd gathered outside before a ribbon cutting.

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Gutierrez says she has always wanted to become an architect and knows her drafting class, as well as the other courses she can pursue in the shop, will help her reach that goal.

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“I’m really excited, I just want the school year to begin,” she said. “So I can be in drafting and get back to the classes.”

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Shawn Chitnis

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