RA seniors drafting their professional course

Published 5:45 am Saturday, November 8, 2014

By Monique Roth

It’s reading, writing and drafting for Riverside Academy students Beau Bourgeois and Max Nodier, and it seems as though they couldn’t be happier about it.

The two seniors are doing advanced work in architecture thanks to the school’s offering of Drafting 2, a course in which the boys are getting to work extensively with computer systems and drafting equipment in designing real-world projects.

Assistant Principal Dr. Rhonda Perkins said this is the third year Riverside has offered the drafting classes as an elective, and so far the students’ responses and successes in their work has been wonderful.

Drafting instructor Gabriel Lacombe, who has a degree in architecture and works in engineering, said the two drafting courses he teaches at Riverside are all hands-on, with students learning drawing, engineering and architecture concepts.

Lacombe said students also complete reports on local architects and architecture, and he structures the classes after the ones he took under Victor Mirzai at Delgado Community College.

Nodier — the son of Mike and Pati Nodier of LaPlace — and Bourgeois — the son of Corey and Kelly Bourgeois of Vacherie — said instead of being just another subject to study, the drafting courses have opened their eyes to a new passion.

Nodier loves the interactive nature of the course, and said he “can’t stay off the computer at home,” where he does his drafting projects.

Bourgeois said “it’s great Riverside offers classes like (drafting) … I really fell in love with it.”

The students love the class so much, that they’ve even changed their future career paths.

Both boys are earning college credit this year through Riverside’s dual-enrollment program and are looking to attend a college in state to study drafting or a related field.

Bourgeois said he had always thought of studying sports medicine in college since he enjoys participating in Riverside football and track, but his drafting classes changed his mind about that.

Nodier agrees.

“This class gives me insight to see what it’s really like working in the field,” Nodier said.

“This is a real career option.”

He added it “makes (him) look at other subjects differently” because he can see the connections between disciplines and understands why subjects like math and English will be important to him in college and in his career.

Lacombe said the drafting classes cost just under $10,000 to start up, and Pellerin Milnor Corporation and Dredging Supply Company donated the funds and equipment to make it possible.

Perkins said offering the drafting courses are well worth Riverside’s efforts, and Nodier and Bourgeois are star students who are always willing to pitch in around school and help out with whatever is needed.

“We think the world of both of them,” Perkins said.