Working alone in his section,  senior Cory Owen puts screws into a bracket for extra support on the roof. 

Working together on the garage, sophomore Cooper Schroer and senior Brock Lauer are screwing the side of the building to the support beams. 

In September, the construction class started a new hands-on project with building a new garage. When the district wanted a place to shelter the school vans and two small buses, construction teacher Ron Albers and his class took on the job. 

The new garage is designed to have six spaces, two for small buses and the rest for school vans.

 “The purpose for the garage is to make sure the vans and the front of the buses are protected from the weather,” senior Lathe Watkins said. 

With COVID-19 and a few minor problems, the construction process has so far been a smooth run.

 “Being in Yellow Phase was difficult because we can’t physically do anything with the building because the students weren’t in class,” Albers said.

 Not only does this project offer students an opportunity for hands-on experience, it also provides support to the community by getting supplies from local businesses.

 “It varies, but we get as much as we can locally and the rest we buy from Emporia,” Albers said. 

 Since the district had proposed the idea, it also supplies the students with all tools and materials needed for the new garage. 

 “The district is supplying the funding. This is a win-win for everyone involved,” superintendent Glenna Grinstead said. ”The students get experience building and working on the project without having to travel to another location.” 

Having a hands-on project like this helps the kids build up real-world life skills by using tools, learning to use very precise measurements, as well allowing the students to build teamwork skills by collaborating with the other students in the class. 

“It really helps with hands-on learning and you can get good experience with the tools you use,” sophomore Levi Wessel said.

Albers and his students are planning to be finished with the garage by the end of the school year. With a new garage to store the school vans and buses, it will help prevent future weather damage on the vehicles.

“Construction class is my favorite class because of the unique skills and qualities I receive. Not only does construction class teach me personally but it also gives us cool projects to make for our community,” senior Owen Eidman said. “Over my past four years, we have built some cool buildings for members in our community. This year we’re building a shed for the busses and vans. This has been a cool project because we’ve started from the ground up. It has taught me all sorts of new things that I have used working for other people. This class really is a beneficial class to be in because it teaches unique hands-on skills, and builds the community a unique building built purely by students.”