Thirty-eight years after Bill Bonenberger graduated from Williamson College of the Trades (formally The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades), the company he founded, W.B. Homes, has partnered with the college on constructing the campus’ first new dorm since 1912.
Founded in 1888, Williamson College of the Trades is a 3 year post-secondary technical school located in Media, PA that provides financially deserving young men the opportunity to learn the necessary skills, leadership, and moral values needed to become successful, respected members of society. Utilizing a unique educational approach, all students attending Williamson receive a full 3 year scholarship including room, board and meals for their specialized trade education and study under industry professionals, benefiting from the personal attention of a 13:1 student/faculty ratio. Williamson offers six different trade programs including carpentry, masonry, horticulture, machine tool technology, paint and coatings technology, and power plant technology.
W.B. Homes president and founder, Bill Bonenberger 7W9, attended Williamson from 1976 to 1979 earning himself the necessary trade skills, quality education, and ethical standards that would one-day act as the foundation of his own home building business. Graduation, however, did not mark the end of Bill’s time at Williamson. Attributing his success to the knowledge and virtues instilled within him at Williamson, Bill has heavily invested himself in the future success of the school that gave him his start. Most recently, this forward progression has resulted in a direct partnership between W.B. Homes and Williamson College of the Trades.
Beginning in Spring 2016, the two have been working together to construct a brand-new dorm for the students at Williamson, the first in 105 years. W.B. Homes donated its time and expertise providing the construction management for the project, with experienced W.B. team members Steve Cava (a 9W5 alum of Williamson) and Bob Pritz taking on the roles of Project Manager and Project Superintendent respectively. Throughout the construction of the dorm, the project management team utilized a heavy amount of Williamson alumni, as well as allowing some of the student body to participate and gain applicable, hands-on experience within their specialized trade. Named the “Watson” dorm, after the late Wayne Watson, for his 45 years of service on the school’s board and last 33 as chairman, the building will house 24-26 students and replicates the 1890’s colonial styling of the campus while modernizing it with 21st century technology and codes.
We’ve enjoyed watching the dorm take shape! Check out the time lapse video of the dorm’s progression below to see for yourself! To learn more about Williamson College of the Trades and their unique approach to education, visit https://www.williamson.edu.