Phoenix High School students build lasting impact on campus

PHOENIX, Or. – Phoenix High School’s Advanced Construction Education class is putting the finishing touches on a class project that will provide a lasting impact on campus.

Students have been building a workspace structure since the start of the school year.

It will provide the Construction Ed Program with an undercover workspace to stay out of the weather as well as a storage area for their projects.

David Ford, the teacher behind the project, has gotten his students to do something they didn’t know they were capable of.

“When we stood up the first truss, the first framing member, it was like this lightbulb clicked in my students. It’s like ‘Wow, this is amazing, we didn’t think it was going to be this big, we didn’t think it was going to be this awesome,'” Ford said. “It’s honestly probably the most fun I’ve ever had in my life working with these kids.”

There has been a big push for kids to take more technical education classes to learn the trades, potentially providing a pathway for students who don’t necessarily want to go to college.

“This is my favorite class. You learn so much that is such useful skills for life in general. It’s just the most rewarding class,” Sophia Sandoval, the project Materials Coordinator, said.

While taking home new skills, these students are also leaving behind a piece of their legacy on campus.

“For me, it’s just nice to see something that’s going to be here for a while that we put time and effort into,” Griffin James, the project Quality Control Manager, said.

And Ford says his program is just getting started.

“We’re only as good as our last project, so yeah, when this finishes, we’ll have to start looking to the future and what we’re going to build next,” Ford said.

For the rest of the school year, Ford says his students will be working on things like tables, benches, and lumber racks for the new building.

Ethan McReynolds is a reporter and weekend anchor for NBC5 News. He grew up in Bothell, Washington and graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Broadcasting and minors in Journalism and Sport Management. At Gonzaga, he started his own sports podcast. Ethan loves rooting for his hometown Seattle sports teams, especially the Mariners. He loves playing baseball, basketball, and soccer. He is also an avid Taylor Swift fan.
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