Springfield-Clark CTC students take on real-world construction project

Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center student Seth Lanigan helps build a new Dog Barn at the Clark County Fairgrounds. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

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Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center student Seth Lanigan helps build a new Dog Barn at the Clark County Fairgrounds. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

A new dog barn is going up at the Clark County Fairgrounds and all the work is being done by junior and senior students from Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center.

“It’s a good job for the kids, especially the juniors who are just starting out. It’s good learning,” said Ric Howard, CTC carpentry instructor.

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The project continues a partnership between CTC and the fairgrounds where students in construction classes gain hands-on experience working on projects at the site.

Students started work on the replacing the dog barn on the third day of school.

The previous structure had been torn down over the summer, so students could start construction as soon as the school year started.

The work included teaching the students about power tools and safety, said Howard. Then they are ready to start work.

The students learn all aspects of construction.

“First off, they learn to measure, saw and the steps it goes through to build something,” Howard said.

The barn will be all metal on the outside. The inside will be heated and insulated and lined with steel, Howard said.

Students are expected to complete the project in about four weeks.

Dean Blair, Executive Director of the Clark County Fairgrounds said he continues to be excited about the partnership with CTC, which has built other projects at the fairgrounds.

“This is not a project that has errors in it or has mistakes in it or anything. These things are professionally done, professionally built and top quality,” Blair said, of the facility that will be used by the fairgrounds five dog clubs and dog college.

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The partnership is also supported by Coldwell Banker, Blair said.

“Well because we have a boat race, we have a new dog barn going up,” Blair said. When Coldwell Banker realized the fairgrounds hosts about 300 events annually, it wanted a year-round presence at the site, Blair said.

Coldwell Banker agreed to sponsor the dog barn because the facility is located on one of the most visible spots at the fairgrounds and likely because of the partnership with CTC, Blair said.

“I don’t know that Coldwell Banker would have agreed to sponsor had CTC not have been involved, because one of the key components was that three way partnership — the fact that they were also helping kids learn and they look at it the same way. Obviously they sell homes, they are in the real estate business and some of these young people will learn, they will become citizens in our community, they’ll buy homes, they’ll live here. So they saw it as just a natural thing for them too, just as we see it as a natural thing,” Blair said.

CTC students helped build a new fire barn at the fairgrounds and a new shelter house on the lake, Blair said. The dog barn is the students’ third project. A fourth project is “on the table,” that includes the students helping with a new community shelter house, Blair said.

Howard said he is proud of the work the students do and the opportunity they have to gain experience.

The most important thing, Howard said, is to instill a strong work ethic in the students.

“We try to make it as real life as possible, and you can’t get anymore real life than this,” Howard said.

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