ROYAL OAK, MI —The Newsrecently reported that the Oakland Technical Center – Southeast campus was in the process of building a lab for the school district’s new HVACR program (“Building The Perfect HVACR Lab,” Nov. 25). Having hired an instructor and designated space in the building, the focus of Oakland County Schools has shifted to creating a state-of-the-art lab environment to provide students with hands-on learning opportunities.

Last month, Rob Featherstone, instructor for the program, told The News what kind of materials and equipment he would like to have for his course, and some members of the HVACR industry have come forward to pledge their support.


A few weeks after running the article about building Featherstone’s lab, about half a dozen individuals called or e-mailedThe Newsexpressing their interest in providing equipment.

The first show of support came from Bill Spohn, president of Testo Inc., a manufacturer of test equipment, including a variety of temperature probes, analyzers, detectors, and indoor air quality (IAQ) products. Spohn spoke recently with Featherstone and sent him a product catalog, asking him to circle the items he felt would be most beneficial to his program.

Another pledge of support came from Gerry Spanger, president of EZ Trap Inc. and SlimDuct Inc. EZ Trap manufactures condensate traps used in central air conditioning systems, while SlimDuct is a distributor of the Slimduct line of installation accessories for split air conditioning systems manufactured by Inaba Denko Ltd. of Osaka, Japan. Spanger is also a regional representative for Airtec, a manufacturer of diffusers and accessories located in Falls River, MA. Spanger sent The News a number of products from the above-mentioned companies for use at the Oakland technical center, including diffusers, dampers, and condensate overflow switches.

“We recognize fully the need to adequately train the tradesman of tomorrow with state-of-the-art equipment today,” said Spanger. “And we are prepared to support any HVACR votech with samples, literature, technical information, and backup pertaining to our product lines.”


The Newshas been fortunate to work with local contractors who have helped to push the new HVACR program forward. Several area contractors have been instrumental in helpingThe Newssince the inception of the project.

Now The News has started placing calls to some of these contractors to find out what they can do to help construct the HVACR lab.

Cliff McCourt, contractor for Day & Night Heating & Cooling Co. in Novi, MI, said that he will try to use his contacts in the industry to obtain equipment donations. Also, Lynn Briggs, president of the Michigan Air Conditioning Contractors of America (MIACCA), told The News that his organization would be willing to work towards providing the new program with the equipment and support it needs.

If you believe that you may be able to help, please contact James J. Siegel, 248-244-1731; 248-362-0317 (fax); or (e-mail).

Publication date: 12/23/2002