NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Students at an Orange County high school are flush with success after a building a high performance motorcycle that set a new land-speed record.
The speed machine was built by students at Pine Bush High School. It recently made a 192-mph run on the salt flats in Utah, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported Thursday.
The bike set a new record for its category and was taken apart in Pine Bush by the same teens who built it.
As chunks of salt hit a work bench students recalled moments of pure joy. Some of the students traveled to Utah in August to watch professional rider Laura Klock unwind the machine.
“I was just like ‘whoo’ and just think that several months ago we were in the shop from scratch,” Jules Gonzalez said.
Back in May, CBS 2 reported on the public school project that put at-risk teens in an unusual program. They were given the task of building and testing a high-performance motorcycle for school credit.
For some students the experience was a life saver.
“In a gang I felt like I was in a family. I felt comfort. Here, it’s like the same thing. It’s, it’s more of a family here. It’s better family than the gang life,” Gonzalez said.
The program is expensive and requires a lot of private fundraising, but the school district said that the results speak for themselves.
“It gave me something to work for. Like, I had an incentive to get up and do something,” senior Shelly Cronin said.
Other students shared Cronin’s motivation.
“Like, I’m actually excited to go back to school this year. I actually want to go there and graduate and get it done,” Mike Heckmann said.
The program was the brain child of school board president, Lloyd Greer, who owns his own cycle shop, and a once-skeptical superintendent is now fully on board.
“I had my doubts. Now I think it’s one of the greatest things we could’ve possibly done,” Joan Carbone said.
Representatives from Pine Bush went to Albany in July to make a presentation to the state education commissioner. The program at Pine Bush could serve as a model for other programs across the state.
The Pine Bush program is affiliated with a West Coast project called “Helping With Horsepower,” which had previously been used to help battered women. This was the first time that the project had been attempted in a public high school, Young reported.
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