Construction Trades Classes Receive Hands-On Experience

The construction trades program at PHS is a class that is designed to teach students the basics of residential construction. The program constructs a lot of different projects for the school and community.

Each year, the class builds a house as one of their projects. Last year, they built Guidance Counselor Brandi Kerley’s house, and they are currently working on this year’s home, the 13th one for the program. The students also worked on building small hunting cabins, which started in early September to have them completed before hunting season.

There are three construction trades classes and each of them contributed to building the cabins. However, the majority of the work was completed by the intro to construction and construction technology students. The project allows students to incorporate skills they will use in building a real house, as the cabins have a lot of the same components that a regular house would have. They are able to learn about various principles of construction, construction math and measuring, tool use and hands-on training during this project as well.

“I am always looking for projects that give the construction students practical, hands-on experience and training. I thought that these cabins would be good projects as they would allow for this experience and also be something that program could sell as a fundraiser,” said construction trades program teacher Jon Shellenberger.

When the students work on their various projects, money is usually charged for the materials used and labor by the students. The money collected from the projects goes to things like field trips, class parties and class t-shirts, but the money is not the only reward for students.

“Another good thing about projects such as these is that they offer the students a sense of pride and accomplishment in having built something beautiful and that people are lining up to purchase,” said Shellenberger.

The cabins have raised a lot of interest, and the classes plan to do this project again next fall. At this point in time, the class is focused primarily on building a house for Habitat for Humanity, but there are projects to come.

Story by Angie Ceja

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