Students build lake cabin at James Valley Career and Technology Center

The project gave students hands-on experience, said Bob Thoreson, construction instructor, while saving costs for the owner.

“That’s one of the great things about things we can do here too. The kids have a really good experience and the customer gets a pretty good deal with no labor costs, ”said Thoreson. “That’s why we like to say that it is a win-win situation in this scenario.”

And Darby Heinert, assistant director of the Career and Technology Center and assistant principal of Jamestown High School, says these types of experiences are not only valuable to students, but can also help potential employers.

From the end of October to May around 17 junior and senior students in the construction professions worked on the cabin.

“I’ve worked in construction with my father over the years and I’ve always been keen to learn more,” said Shaun Kurtz, one of the students working on the project. He said it was “a great opportunity to learn more about it”.

The 600 square meter lake hut was sold before the start of the project. It was built in the Career and Technology Center and recently moved to its location. Thoreson said he’ll be doing some work on the booth this month.

Building Trades teaches aspects of general building, Thoreson said. It can encompass plumbing, electrical, and architectural design, but usually gives students experience mostly in the design and related details, he said.

Thoreson also has bigger goals in mind for the classes.

Bob Thoreson is the construction and trade instructor at the James Valley Career and Technology Center.  John M. Steiner / The sun

Bob Thoreson is the construction and trade instructor at the James Valley Career and Technology Center. John M. Steiner / The sun

“No. 1, one of my big goals is to teach them and give them the opportunity to do a lot of things by themselves when they become a homeowner and / or landowner and want to build things,” he said. “I tell them .. You can save yourself thousands of dollars in labor costs by taking up the challenge of doing it yourself. “

That includes installing windows, frame walls and siding, he said.

Kaden Williams, a student in the class, said he learned a lot about how to build from working on the booth. He has no plans to get into the building trade but said he has benefited a lot from it.

“It’s been a good learning experience for all of us figuring out how to do everything,” and working together to get things done, he said.

Thoreson, who is a fourth year construction instructor, said the plan is to run a project every year if possible. While in other years students worked on house projects, today there aren’t enough students in the program to do anything on this scale. Instead, the classes have taken over sheds and other smaller projects. That year they also installed cabinets and did other work in the Jamestown Public Schools Transition House, Thoreson and Heinert said.

The work on the Seehütte is a kind of pilot project, said Thoreson.

“We did pretty much everything from the floor and the walls, built and insulated our rafters ourselves, worked on the interior wall material,” he said.

The cabin is made of pine with tongue and groove and has a kitchen, bathroom, family room, loft and two bedrooms.  John M. Steiner / The sun

The cabin is made of pine with tongue and groove and has a kitchen, bathroom, family room, loft and two bedrooms. John M. Steiner / The sun

A licensed electrician and a licensed plumber also worked on certain parts of the project, Thoreson said. He hopes that in the future a licensed plumber / instructor will be able to provide practical instruction to students.

Heinert said the lake hut project fits into work-based learning. The center can offer a simulated experience such as a lake hut construction project or an actual work experience through a job. For example, the center can help a student find a paid or unpaid construction job for which the student also recognizes work-based learning, he said.

Students on these internships and courses, which start next fall, are rated weekly on five areas: how well they communicate, how well they work together, problem solving, technical skills and a high level of professionalism, Heinert said. Staff will work with students to develop these skills, he added.

Darby Heinert, Assistant Director of the James Valley Career and Technology Center, talks about the facility's various training opportunities.  John M. Steiner / The sun

Darby Heinert, Assistant Director of the James Valley Career and Technology Center, talks about the facility’s various training opportunities. John M. Steiner / The sun

“We want the workforce to be ready,” said Heinert. “When our children leave here, they have a strong foundation and can be an effective employee based on the criteria we set that make them highly effective in the workplace.”

Heinert said a student in construction for two years would have sufficient skills to transition into professional life or take further training after graduation.

“We’re trying to encourage sponsorship (with companies),” he said. “And that’s a nice thing about what work-based learning is. We are hoping for more and more sponsorship from this. “

He said that through sponsorship, some companies are already providing tools and instruction for students to work for the company for a period of time. A student who fails to perform the contract must repay the company a certain amount based on the time worked / remaining.

Heinert noted that the career and technology center also offers work-based learning in the areas of healthcare, auto collision, auto engineering, agriculture, and childcare.

For more information, contact the James Valley Career and Technology Center at 252-8841.

Comments are closed.