The Emery High Construction class is hard at it again working on the construction of a new house in Castle Dale. The class consists of 20 students from Emery High who work on the house two class periods each day with a few of them staying after school for extra instruction.
Jim Keele and Gordon Card are the class instructors. Ed Clark from the Emery School District Office is the Supervisor of Applied Technology and oversees the construction project. He said, "Mr. Keele and Mr. Card are recognized as the best construction teachers in the state. I've been to a lot of student construction projects and ours is the best. Our students are able to do so much of the project themselves. In a lot of the buildings they have to contract much of the work out. Our students build the whole house from the ground up. The school district did the first house on their own and it took two years to finish. We now work in conjunction with the Utah Housing Authority. Each of the houses constructed have all been sold. Originally we bought 25 building lots, but we have combined two lots together so the owners will have more yard space. We have 11 or 12 lots left which should keep the construction class busy for the next 10 years. The house they constructed last year sold during the summer.
Keele credits Clark with finding some extra funds this year to award prizes to the students for safety. If the student shows up each day with their hard hats, gloves and safety glasses in place then they receive a ticket which is put in for a drawing. The prizes include: hard hats, chalk lines, tool belts, tool buckets, safety glasses, miter boxes, dry wall kits as well as other construction related prizes. A winner is drawn out every three weeks. All of the winners will be thrown into a drawing for a grand prize at the end of the year which is a Swiss saw.
Keele said, "This year we are putting hickory cabinets in the kitchen. I teach a cabinet making class for two periods a day. They students help construct the cabinets which have been places in the homes we've constructed. Hickory is really durable and should last forever and takes a lot of abuse.
|The Emery High Construction class works on the house two class periods each day. The students constructing the house this year include: John Baletka, Tyrel Bennett, Joshua Brinkerhoff, Colby Childs, Jason Fredricksen, Courtney Hansen, Robby Lehman, Daniel Luke, Wylee Merrell, Alexander O'Neil, Jason Parrish, Chris Petersen, Travis Quinn, Marshall Ruehman, Kyle Scow, Josh Sharp, Jason Stevens, Joe Stoddard and Jared Wall. Their instructors are Jim Keele and Gordon Card.|
"The students who take the construction class are ready to move into construction jobs which pay $2-3 more than minimum wage and they can do that right off the site. There are construction jobs everywhere for the students if the people know they came out of one of these programs. We are also able to help the builders receive scholarships from the College of Eastern Utah. This hands on experience is important if they want to work toward a construction management degree it also helps them work toward their own contractors license.
"We are also trying to work with CEU to give college credit to the students who work after school. The students receive their elective credits during class time which helps them toward high school graduation. We also work in partnership with the Southeastern Utah Applied Technology Center. About half of our students move into construction jobs or scholarships. This is really a great program," said Keele.
The students constructing the house this year include: John Baletka, Tyrel Bennett, Joshua Brinkerhoff, Colby Childs, Jason Fredricksen, Courtney Hansen, Robby Lehman, Daniel Luke,
Wylee Merrell, Alexander O'Neil, Jason Parrish, Chris Petersen, Travis Quinn, Marshall Ruehman, Kyle Scow, Josh Sharp, Jason Stevens, Joe Stoddard and Jared Wall.