SDSS construction students get on-site training

SDSS construction students get on-site training
Posted on 01/23/2019

Construction Specialist High Skills Major students from Saugeen District Secondary have been busy learning on-site skills for the past three months at the Westlinks development east of Port Elgin on Bruce County Road 17.
Hub Staff
It's been a busy three months for Grade 11 and 12 Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) students enrolled in the Construction Specialist High Skills Major class.
The students have been working on-site at the Westlinks development at the eastern edge of Port Elgin on Bruce County Road 17 since the middle of October and we caught up with them last week, in their final week, to see what they had been doing and what new skills they had learned.
"Mostly we worked on seven units, three plex and four plex units," said SDSS construction teacher Bud Halpin, explaining that once the main frame of the house was built the students then came in and completed the back up framing. "This included installing the bracing in the trusses, strapping the ceilings and framing the walls in the basements."
Grade 11 student Walker McNabb said that he had learned a lot about framing and strapping. "We strapped the ceiling, we put ribbons up in the trusses and in all the basements, we put up frost walls," he explained. "I've never done any of this before. The measurements have to be really precise."
McNabb added that the students had also built frames outside, on which decks will eventually be built. "That's all pressure treated wood so that was different," he said.
As well as learning framing, Grade 12 student Dre Wannamaker and Grade 11 student Michael Alison had been working on the layout. "The layout is the person who reads the blueprints and marks everything out," said Wannamaker. "So you can put it together and everything is flush and straight."
Alison said it had been interesting learning how to read blueprints. "So you know where all the ribbons have to go for all the trusses up in the roof."
Grade 11 student Joe Molinaro said as a side project they had also worked on safety. "Building stairs, benches and guard rails for people to work around and work with," said Molinaro, adding that one of the big things that had stood out was how well tradespeople worked together. "Plumbers are very good friends with the framers because they work around that and I've seen a very big common interest with the electricians and the drywallers because they have a thing in common."
Molinaro said that construction and framing in particular was something they were considering for their future. "It's a tedious task but it is beautiful work once you take a look from the inside out."
Halpin said that the various tradespeople working at Westlinks had gotten along "really, really well" with the students. "I found they were all really encouraging to the students and some of them would take a student from time to time to work with," he said.
One such student was Bailey Bissonnette in Grade 12 who had spent a lot of time working with an electrician. "We were running lines through walls and getting them all drilled out and then hooking up the electrical boxes," he explained. "I'm definitely considering going on to be an electrician."
Halpin said he wanted to extend a big thank you to Nathan Becker and Vaughan Sawyer of Precision Framing and Home Construction. "Nathan and Vaughan gave the SDSS students a unique opportunity to work and learn on the Westlinks subdivision," he said also thanking Rice Development "for giving our students a real world working opportunity."
Guard Rail
From left, Kaleb Morley, Logan Morley, Walker McNabb, Thomas Frank, Dane Heipel and Donnie Kewageshig look over one of the guard rails that were built for safety while they worked.
From left, Walker McNabb, Dre Wannamaker and Michael Alison were busy working in the basement of one of the Westlinks homes.
The SDSS students have been busy with back up framing and other projects for the past three months.
One of the homes being constructed with the help of SDSS construction students at the Westlinks development east of Port Elgin.

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